Sunday, August 28, 2011

Dormition and Assumption of the Mother of God

Joyous feast! It may seem a little late to be celebrating the Dormition given that the Orthodox following the Armenian, Gregorian/'New Julian,' Coptic, and Ethiopian have all celebrated it already (on 13, 14, 22, and 21/22 August respectively), but greetings with this beautiful feast regardless!

Today is called the Pascha of the Mother of God by some and the services mirror this in several ways, most notably with a funeral procession of the Mother of God's funeral shroud (painted, like the Lord's, with an icon of the sleeping Mother of God) during the festal Vigil. We celebrate the Mother of God, who has been brought over from death to life by her Son, Who allowed her to fall asleep to greater glorify Himself by resurrecting her and bringing her to dwell with Him in the fullness of His Kingdom.

More details on today's feast, as well as the fast which precedes it, can be found here and here. May the Queen of Heaven's protection and intercessions be with us all!

Of the icons pictured the first is a Byzantine-style icon of today's feast, which in the Byzantine Rite combines the celebration of her Dormition and Assumption on a single day, whilst the second is a Coptic-style icon showing the Assumption, which is the primary focus of the Alexandrian Rite's observance and which in the Ethiopian Rite falls a day after the observance of the Dormition.

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