The Dormition of our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos
and Ever Virgin Mary
The Dormition (Falling Asleep) of the Theotokos is one of the Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church, celebrated
on August 15. This feast, which is also sometimes called the Assumption, commemorates the death, resurrection and glorification
of Christ's mother. It proclaims that Mary has been "assumed" by God into the heavenly kingdom of Christ in the fullness of
her spiritual and bodily existence. (source: OrthodoxWiki) In Greek, Dormition is Koimisis—falling asleep
in death—from which the word cemetery derives.
The Holy Scriptures tell us that when our Lord was dying on the Cross, He saw His mother and His disciple
John and said to the Virgin Mary, "Woman, behold your son!" and to John, "Behold your mother!" (John 19:25-27). From that hour, the Apostle took care of the Theotokos in his own home.
Along with the biblical reference in Acts 2:14
that confirms that the Virgin Mary was with the Holy Apostles on the day of Pentecost, the tradition of the Church holds that
she remained in the home of the Apostle John in Jerusalem, continuing a ministry in word and deed.
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.
Following her repose, the body of the Theotokos was taken in procession and laid in a tomb near the Garden
of Gethsemane. When the Apostle Thomas arrived three days after her repose and desired to see her body, the tomb was found
to be empty. The bodily assumption of the Theotokos was confirmed by the message of an angel and by her appearance to the
We do not worship the Theotokos, but Virgin Mary is
placed in very high honor, she is the Mother of God...
Luke 11:27-28 New King James Version (NKJV)
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!”
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.”
46 And Mary said:
“ My soul magnifies
47 And my
spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
48 For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
49 For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
is His name.
And His mercy is on those who fear Him
From generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with His arm;
has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52 He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
exalted the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich He has sent
has helped His servant Israel,
In remembrance of His mercy,
55 As He spoke to our fathers,
Abraham and to his seed forever.”
56 And Mary
remained with her about three months, and returned to her house.