Wednesday, December 13, 2017 UTC

AUG 14 & 15: DORMITION OF THE THEOTOKOS & BLESSING OF FLOWERS (HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION)

dormition4large AUG 14: GREAT VESPERS – 6:30 PM (SC&M); AUG 15: DIVINE LITURGY – 5:00 PM (SN), 6:30 PM (SC&M).

The Feast commemorates the repose or “falling-asleep” of the Mother of Jesus Christ, our Lord. The Feast also commemorates the translation or assumption into heaven of the body of the Theotokos. Tradition relates that the Mother of God died in Jerusalem, after a visit with all of Christ’s apostles. They carried her coffin to the Garden of Gethsemane where it was placed into a tomb. The apostle Thomas came late, and asked that the tomb might be opened so that he could reverence her body. When opened, the tomb was found empty except for the winding sheet.

Today flowers are blessed in church, and people keep them in their homes. During times of family strife or illness, the flower petals are placed in the censer with the incense, and the whole house is censed. Also, the Rite of the “Burial of the Theotokos” is celebrated, during the All-Night Vigil.  An Epitaphios of the Theotokos, a richly embroidered cloth icon portraying her lying in state, together with specially composed hymns of lamentation are sung as it is carried in procession.

On Tuesday, August 23rd, is the Leave-taking of the Feast of the Dormition. On this day, another solemn procession is made & the holy burial shroud is carried by the clergy.

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