Difference between revisions of "Dormition"

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[[Image:Dormition.jpg|right|frame|The Dormition of the Theotokos]]
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.
==About the feast==
The Orthodox feast of the Dormition is very similar to what [[Roman Catholic Church|Roman Catholicism]] calls the ''Assumption of Mary''.  According to Orthodox [[Tradition]], [[Theotokos|Mary]] died like all humanity, "falling asleep," so to speak, as the name of the feast indicates.  She died as all people die, not "voluntarily" as her Son, but by the necessity of her mortal human nature which is indivisibly bound up with the corruption of this world.
The [[Apostles]] were miraculously summoned to this event, and all were present except [[Apostle Thomas|Thomas]] when Mary passed from this life.  She was then buried.
Thomas arrived a few days later, and desiring to see her one more time, convinced the others to open her tomb.  Upon doing so, the Apostles discovered that her body was no longer present.  This event is seen as a firstfruits of the [[General Resurrection|resurrection of the faithful]] that will occur at the [[Second Coming]] of Christ.  The event is normally called the ''Dormition'', though there are many Orthodox parishes in English-speaking countries with the name ''Assumption''.  In Greek, ''Dormition'' is ''Koimisis''—falling asleep in death—from which the word ''cemetery'' derives.
As with the [[Nativity of the Theotokos|nativity of the Virgin]] and the feast of her [[Presentation of the Theotokos|entrance to the temple]], there are no biblical or historical sources for this feast.  The Orthodox Church teaches that Mary is without personal sins{{fact}}, as well that Mary truly needed to be saved by Christ as all human persons are saved from the trials, sufferings, and death of this world. She truly died and was raised up by her Son as the Mother of Life and participates already in the eternal life of paradise. This life of paradise is prepared and promised to all who "hear the word of God and keep it." ([[Gospel of Luke|Luke]] 11:27-28)
The dormition of the mother of the Theotokos, the [[Righteous]] [[Anna]], is celebrated on [[July 25]].
==Celebration of the feast==
The feast is preceded by 14 days of  strict [[fasting]],  with the exceptions that fish is eaten on the Feast of the [[Transfiguration]] ([[August 6]]).  On  weekdays before the feast, either the [[Great Paraklesis]] (service of supplication) or the [[Small Paraklesis]] is celebrated.
On the eve of the feast, [[Vespers]] is served and contains three [[Old Testament]] readings that have [[New Testament]] meaning.  In [[Genesis]] 28:10-17, Jacob's Ladder which unites heaven and earth points to the union of God with men which is realized most fully and perfectly in Mary the bearer of God. "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!" In [[Book of Ezekiel|Ezekiel]] 43:27-44:4, the vision of the temple with the door to the East perpetually closed and filled with the glory of the Lord, symbolizes Mary.  And in [[Proverbs]] 9:1-11, Mary is also identified with the "house" which the Divine Wisdom has built for herself.
Sometimes [[Matins]] is served on the morning of the feast.  The Gospel reading is from  [[Gospel of Luke|Luke]] 1:39-49, 56. It is read on all feasts of the Theotokos and includes the [[Magnificat|Theotokos' saying]]: "My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden, for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed."
[[Divine Liturgy]] is served on the day on the feast. In some churches, it is the custom to bless flowers on this feast before the Liturgy. The [[Apostolos|epistle reading]] is from [[Philippians]] 2:5-11, and speaks of "Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,  but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men." The [[Gospels|gospel reading]] is taken from Luke 10:38-42 and 11:27-28 together; this reading is also always read on all feasts of the Theotokos.  In it, the Lord says, "blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!"
[[Troparion]] (Tone 1) [http://oca.org/FStropars.asp?SID=13&ID=102302]
:In giving birth you preserved your virginity,
:In falling asleep you did not forsake the world, O Theotokos.
:You were translated to life, O Mother of Life,
:And by your prayers, you deliver our souls from death.
[[Kontakion]] (Tone 2)
:Neither the tomb, nor death could hold the Theotokos,
:Who is constant in prayer and our firm hope in her intercessions.
:For being the Mother of Life,
:She was translated to life by the One who dwelt in her virginal womb.
===Forefeast hymns===
Troparion (Tone 4)
:Dance with joy, O peoples!
:Clap your hands with gladness!
:Gather today with fervor and jubilation;
:Sing with exultation.
:The Mother of God is about to rise in glory,
:Ascending from earth to heaven.
:We ceaselessly praise her in song as truly Theotokos.
Kontakion (Tone 4)
:Today the universe dances with joy at your glorious memorial,
:And cries out to you, O Mother of God:
:"Rejoice, O Virgin, pride of Christians!"
==See also==
*The icon of [[Panagia Ierosolymitissa]] located inside the '''Sepulcher of the Theotokos'''.
<!-- ==Reference==
<references/> --->
*[http://oca.org/OCchapter.asp?SID=2&ID=87 Dormition of the Theotokos] ''The Orthodox Faith'' by the V. Rev. [[Thomas Hopko]]
==External links==
*[http://www.theologic.com/oflweb/feasts/08-15.htm The Dormition of the Theotokos] from ''Orthodox Family Life''
*[http://www.rollins.edu/Foreign_Lang/Russian/assumpt.html The Assumption (Dormition) of the Virgin], a descriptive commentary of festal [[icon]]s
*[http://www.comeandseeicons.com/festal/festal.htm#phf13 Icons of the Dormition of Mary]
*[http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsLife.asp?FSID=102302 The Dormition of our Most Holy Lady the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary] ([[OCA]])
*[http://www.goarch.org/en/special/listen_learn_share/dormition/learn/ August 15: Feast of the Dormition of Our Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary] ([[GOARCH]])
[[Category:Great Feasts]]
[[ro:Adormirea Maicii Domnului]]

Revision as of 11:28, June 10, 2008