Hymns in honour of the Virgin Mary are chiefly associated with the Eastern Orthodox churches and the Roman Catholic church; Marian devotion is accepted less in the protestant traditions, although some Anglican books are rich in hymns for Marian feasts. The earliest Marian feast is the Assumption (August 15), which commemorates her death. This dates back to the mid-5th century, around the time of the Council of Ephesus (431) at which it was decreed that Mary was the mother of God (Theotokos), not the mother of a holy man later adopted into the Godhead (on the early history of Marian devotion in Constantinople and Jerusalem, see Fassler, 2001). The Nativity of the Virgin Mary (8 September),...
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