The Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God
According to the teachings of the Orthodox Church, Mary, having spent her life after Pentecost supporting and serving the nascent Church, was living in the house of the Apostle John, in Jerusalem, when the Archangel Gabriel revealed to her that her repose would occur three days later.
The apostles, scattered throughout the world, are said to have been miraculously transported to be at her side when she died. The sole exception was Thomas, who had been delayed. He arrived three days after her death and is said to have seen her body leaving to heaven. He asked her “Where are you going, O Holy One?” and then she took off her girdle (belt) and gave it to him and said “Receive this my friend” then she disappeared.
Thomas was taken to his fellow Apostles and asked to see her grave so that he could bid her goodbye. Mary had been buried in Gethsemane, according to her request. When they arrived at the grave, her body was gone, leaving a sweet fragrance. An apparition is said to have confirmed that Christ had taken her body to heaven after three days to be reunited with her soul.
The Orthodox Church teaches that Mary died a natural death, like any human being; that her soul was received by Christ upon death; and that her body was resurrected on the third day after her repose, at which time she was taken up, bodily, into heaven. Her tomb was found empty on the third day because she had already undergone the bodily resurrection which all will experience at the Second Coming, and stands in heaven in that glorified state which the other righteous ones will only enjoy after the Last Judgment.
A blessed feast to all of you!
With love in Christ,
Wednesday August 28, 2019 / August 15, 2019
11th Week after Pentecost. Tone one.
Fast. Fish Allowed
The Dormition of Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary.
Icon of Sophia, the Wisdom of God (Novgorod).
Reverence list of the Dormition Icon of the Mother of God: “Kievo-Pechersk” (1073), “Ovinovsk” (1425), “Pskov-Pechersk” (1472), “Semigorodnaya” (15th c.) and “Piukhtitsk” (16th c.).
“Mosdok” (13th c.), “Atskursk” (1st. c.), “Tsilkansk” (4th c.), “Vlakhernsk” (Georgia), “Vladimirsko-Rostovsky” (12th c.), Gaenatsky (13th c.), “Bakhchisaraysk”, “Chukhlomsk” (14th c.), “Surdegsk” (1530), “Tupichevsk” (17th c.) Icons of the Mother of God.
Venerable Macarius the Roman, abbot (1550), and his disciple St. Chariton.
New Hieromartyr Andrew (Voliansky) priest.
St. Christos of Ioannina (Greek).
St. Stephen, elder of Vyatka (1890).
New Martyrs Priest Paul Szwajko and Presbytera Joanna, of Graboviec (Chelm and Podlasie, Poland) (1943).
The Scripture Readings
Mary Visits Elizabeth
39 Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, 40 and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45 Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”
The Song of Mary
46 And Mary said:
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
48 For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
49 For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.
56 And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house.
The Humbled and Exalted Christ
5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Mary and Martha Worship and Serve
38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”
41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
Keeping the Word
27 And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!”
28 But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”