By Abbot Tryphon, August 28, 2019
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,
~Abbot Tryphon, The Morning Offering, https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/morningoffering/2019/08/the-dormition-3/.