On Monday the 17th of August, St John the Baptist commenced round two of Monthly Enlightenment. This month we were blessed to have the Youth president of both St. John The Baptist & ACOY present a speech on one of the 12 Great Feasts celebrated in the Orthodox Church; ‘The Dormition of the Theotokos’ or otherwise known as the ‘Falling Asleep’ which we had celebrated on August 15th.
Andrew informed the attendees of the importance of one of the oldest Marian feast days in the church and the last of the great feasts celebrated on the Ecclesiastical calendar. The feast commemorates the falling asleep, burial, resurrection, and translation of the Theotokos into heaven in the body.
As the Mother of God, she became the source of encouragement, helping the Apostles as well as all Christians. Three days before her departure into eternal life, Archangel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary and revealed to her the date this will happen. She then returned home to Jerusalem and prepared herself through fasting and prayer. Even though the 12 Apostles were scattered throughout the world, they were miraculously transported to be at her side, except the Apostle Thomas who did not arrive in time to offer his final farewell. Apostle Thomas arrived on the third day and asked to see the grave of the Theotokos. During this period, the Apostles remained around and kept a vigil on the tomb. When the Apostles opened the grave, her body was not there. It was at that moment they realised she had been taken into heaven in the body to be reunited to her soul.
The Dormition of The Theotokos is a confirmation of the resurrection of Christ and the source of hope for the faithful. It is a celebration of the affirmation of the promise of our own resurrection in Christ. Through this feast, we journey towards the heavenly abode asking that the Mother of God intercede for us. Through Christ she is the mother of all the children of God, embracing us with divine love.
Most Holy Theotokos Save Us!