Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Feast of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary

August is the month dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The Dormition is also known as the Pascha of the summer, emphasising the importance of this Feast, whilst also showing the unique relationship between Jesus Christi and His mother, Mary.
After the Passion, Crucifixion, Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus Christ, we read in the Book of Acts that Panagia was present, with the Apostles, on the day of Pentecost, i.e. the birth of the Church. The Tradition of the Church claims that the Virgin Mary stayed in Apostle John’s house, in Jerusalem, continuing here ministry together with the Apostles and the communion of believers.

(Epitafios from All Saints Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Camden Town, North London)

At the time of her death, the disciples of our Lord who were preaching throughout the world returned to Jerusalem to see the Theotokos. Except for the Apostle Thomas, all of them including the Apostle Paul were gathered together at her bedside. At the moment of her death, Jesus Christ himself descended and carried her soul into heaven. This is also depicted in the icon of the Dormition.

Following her repose, the body of the Theotokos was taken in procession and laid in a tomb near the Garden of Gethsemane. When Thomas arrived three days after her repose and desired to see her body, the tomb was empty. The bodily Assumption of the Theotokos was confirmed by the message of an angel and by her appearance to the Apostles.

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