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A HOMILY ON THE DORMITION OF THE MOTHER OF GOD

We have peace when we are with the Lord and His Most Holy Mother; she is always here to help whenever we call upon her. In her we have unshakable support, which remains the same for all ages and which will not change. We cannot find this support anywhere else on earth, not even among our family members, let alone in things like riches, earthly power, and honor. We can be left without all these

Dormition or Assumption?

In our Orthodox tradition we are usually very careful to distinguish between the “Dormition” of the Mother of God and her “Assumption” into heaven. The former, we feel, is properly Orthodox, while the latter strikes us as a purely Western designation, derived from a Roman Catholic “misunderstanding” of the meaning of this feast, celebrated universally on August 15. It is true that some very genuine yet misguided interpretations of Mary’s death and exaltation can be

Praying with the Entire Church

“O you apostles, assembled here from the ends of the earth, bury my body: And You, O my Son and my God, receive my spirit” (Exapostilarion of Dormition of the Theotokos) To be a genuine Orthodox Christian is to share in the joy of fellowship gathered around the holy Mother of God, Mary the ever-virgin one. Yet in America a hesitancy arises even with the Church among the faithful. What is so normal and self-evident

Most Holy Theotokos, Save Us!

Orthodox Christians begin and end the liturgical year with celebrations dedicated to the Virgin Mary, whom we venerate as the Theotokos or “bearer of God.” On September 8, the end of the first week of the new year, we commemorate her Nativity or birth; on August 15, we close the year with the feast of her Dormition, her “falling asleep” and translation to heaven. As the hymns of these and other Marian feasts make clear,

The Dormition Fast: Ending another Year of Grace in Our Lord

The Byzantine Church since at least the 5th century has practiced a period of fasting prior to the feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos. This ancient custom has much to offer contemporary Christians. Christians of the East have always recognized the mystery of Our Lady’s Dormition, her ‘falling asleep’ at the end of her natural life. The passage of Mary the Virgin Mother of God from this life to life eternal is a cause

The Great and Small Supplication (Paraklesis) Services to the Theotokos

There are two forms of the Paraklesis Canon to the Theotokos: the Small Paraklesis which was composed by Theosteriktos the Monk in the 9th century (or some say Theophanes), and the Great Paraklesis. During the majority of the year, only the Small Paraklesis to the Theotokos is chanted. However, during the Dormition Fast (August 1—14), the Typikon prescribes that the Small and Great Paraklesis be chanted on alternate evenings, according to the following regulations: –

The Sixteenth Day of Great Lent. Synaxis in Honor of the Archangel Gabriel

On the Leavetaking of the Feast of the Annunciation, the Church commemorates the Archangel Gabriel, who announced the great mystery of the Incarnation of Christ to the Virgin Mary.  Mindful of the manifold appearances of the holy Archangel Gabriel and of his zealous fulfilling of God’s will and confessing his intercession for Christians before the Lord, the Orthodox Church calls upon its children to pray to the great Archangel with faith and love. The Synaxis

Repose of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian

The Holy, Glorious All-Laudable Apostle and Evangelist, Virgin, and Beloved Friend of Christ, John the Theologian was the son of Zebedee and Salome, a daughter of Saint Joseph the Betrothed. He was called by our Lord Jesus Christ to be one of His Apostles at the same time as his elder brother James. This took place at Lake Gennesareth (i.e. the Sea of Galilee). Leaving behind their father, both brothers followed the Lord. The Apostle

The Dormition of the Ever-Virgin Mother of God

In the Communion of Saints, which is the true Church Universal and Catholic, the mystery of the New Humanity is disclosed as a new existential situation. And in this perspective and living context of the Mystical Body of Christ the person of the Blessed Virgin Mother appears in full light and full glory. The Church now contemplates her in the state of perfection. She is now seen as inseparably united with her Son, who “sitteth

The Fast of the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin (Part V)

By Father Leonidas Contos We would agree, I think, that to identify the “one thing” is not difficult for the Christian. To define it, however, is rather less easy. And to achieve that set of the soul that keeps us in steady pursuit of it is not easy at all. To say so is to mock the whole meaning of spiritual discipline and to devalue the lives of those few in each generation who are