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Date of Award

1999

Document Type

Graduate Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Theology

Department

School of Theology • Seminary

First Advisor

Martin Connell

Abstract

On the Roman Catholic Church's calendar of holy days, December 8th is celebrated as a solemnity, a holy day of obligation, commemorating the Immaculate Conception of Mary. What is the origin and development of this feast day? What is the significance of this feast day? How does the Church celebrate it? In this essay, I will examine this feast historically and theologically, so that we may answer three questions. In addition, I will analyze some liturgical texts of the feast so that we will know how the Church celebrates it. In this essay, I conclude generally that the feast of the Immaculate Conception is a celebration of God's love poured into the soul of Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. Today the Church continues in communion with Mary to prepare itself to welcome Jesus. At his return in glory, he will definitively establish his glorious kingdom and make us participate in his reign over the world, a reign in which Mary already participates in heaven.

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