Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dormition of the Theotokos

First, AgnusDay's reflection on this Sunday's gospel reading:

"Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death."

Certainly few mainline or evangelical Protestants will celebrate this Feast Day, observed in the Roman Catholic tradition as the Assumption of the Virgin and in the Eastern tradition as the Dormition of the Theotokos. While Pope Pius XII defined the Assumption as dogma in 1950, the Dormition has been commemorated in the Orthodox Church as a Great Feast, although it has never been formally declared as doctrine by the Orthodox Church. The belief that God took the Virgin Mary to heaven bodily has been celebrated in the church since the fifth century.

It is a feast that affirms the doctrine of the resurrection of the body and Mary's special role in the redemption. Christians in other traditions who affirm these beliefs should consider joining their sisters and brothers throughout time in celebration this important Feast day.

My recent reflections and meditations about this Feast day has led me to ponder that Mary's devotion to her son, and our Lord's devotion to his mother, serve as models for intimate human relationships. Her Assumption testify that the human body is a divine gift and though tainted by sin(or if you prefer human imperfections), will be glorified.

From the Orthodox tradition:

Kontakion (Second Tone)
"Neither the grave nor death could contain the Theotokos, the unshakable hope, ever vigilant in intercession and protection. As Mother of life, He who dwelt in the ever-virginal womb transposed her to life."

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