The Dormition of our most holy and glorious Lady, Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary

Concerning the Dormition of the Theotokos the Church has received the following from the ancient tradition of the Fathers. When the time drew near when it was our Saviour’s good pleasure to take to himself his own Mother, he informed her through an Angel, three days before hand, of her passing from this temporary life to that which is eternal and blessed. When she heard this, she went in haste to the mount of Olives, where it was her custom to go and pray, and when she had given thanks to God, she returned to her house and prepared for her burial. Meanwhile clouds had snatched up the Apostles from the ends of the earth, wherever each of them was preaching, and set them down together at the house of the Theotokos. She quickly explained to them the reason for their coming together and like a mother she consoled them in their distress. Then she raised her hands to heaven, prayed for the peace of the world, blessed the Apostles and then, when she had lain down on the bier and disposed her body as she has intended, she placed her all-holy soul into the hands of her Son and God.

The Apostles with devotion and great pomp took up the bier of that body which had received God and chanting funeral hymns they took it to the grave, when Angels from heaven began to sing with them, as they escorted her who is higher than the Cherubim. One of Jews, out of envy, audaciously placed his hands on the bier and at once received the punishment of his rashness, for his hands were cut off by an invisible blow. When they reached the village called Gethsemane, they buried there with honour the all-pure body, source of life, of the Theotokos. But on the third day after the burial, as they were consoling one another together, they raised the loaf that had been set out, as was their custom, in the name of Jesus, when the Theotokos appeared in the air and said them, ‘Hail!’. From this they understood that the Theotokos had been translated bodily into heaven.

This is what the Church has received from the traditions of the Fathers, and having set down many things from them in hymns, as a proof of true devotion, it chants them this day to the glory of the Mother of our God.

Apolytikion. 1st Tone.

In giving birth you retained your virginity; in falling asleep you did not abandon the world, O Theotokos; you passed over into life, for you are the Mother of Life; and by your prayers you deliver our souls from death.

Kontakion. 2nd Tone. Model Melody.

Nor tomb nor death overpowered the Theotokos, unsleeping in her prayers, unfailing hope in intercession; for as Mother of Life she has been taken over into life by him who dwelt in her ever-virgin womb.

Our Local Saints
Copyright © 2024