The Dormition of Teotokos

Today when the Holiest Theotokos closed her physical eyes, she opened the eyes of her heart for our sake, as if some brightest and greatest lighthouses which shine upon us and look with kindness to God, begging mercy for the salvation of the world. Today when her God-driven mouth seized to speak the human word, her interceding mouth was opened and started pleading with God for the entire humankind. Today when you put down your physical hands, you raised the incorruptible ones in prayer to the Bishop of the entire Universe. Today when you physically leave this world, you still remain spiritually present in it, as a single hope and protector of sinners. Therefore, the Church chants in your Troparion: In your Nativity, you have preserved your purity, in your Dormition, you haven’t left the world… As the purest Dove rises up She never ceases to guard those who remain down. While She climbs the Heavens, She sends away from us the dark faces of the evil spirits, interceding for every one of us before God.

This is the holiday we celebrate today, this is the magnificence of today’s festivity. Death is taking place and yet we celebrate life. It is called Dormition, but it’s actually Resurrection and Assumption. There is a separation, but in fact, it’s the most steadfast union. The Mother of God never left the humankind, but rather watches over us with the greatest maternal love, interceding for our salvation and uniting us with Christ –the Truth, the Joy, and the Life.

The endless treasure of her grace and mercy poured abundantly over the Bigorski monastery, where the brothers gathered around her floral tomb, along with the present faithful, offered their hearts to Her with prayers and gratitude. An amazing and unsetting brightened their faces, while they took part in the prayer of the all-night vigil in honour of her glorious Dormition.

Amid this beauty of sublime feelings and thoughts, the greatest embellishment for us all was the sermon of our Elder and Abbot, Bishop Parthenius, filled with profound theology and exaltation. This sermon as a kind of mystery gate introduced us to the profound importance of today’s feast.

Magnify, my soul, the honorable ascend of the Holy Mother from the Earth to Heavens!