Rightly, Easter is my favorite feast of the Church. But my next favorite is the Feast of the Dormition of Blessed Theotokos. One may ask why the Dormition feast over Christmas? Like Easter, resurrection of the body and going to Heaven is the great hope of the faithful. There is so much Beauty in this feast. The mother of our Church, who sacrificed much, showed us virtue in the Lord, unwavering faith, who continues to nurture us through her prayer, passed from the this earthly life to the promised life—it is the beautiful fruition of what God put in motion with her conception—Christmas is only the middle of the story.
The account of Blessed Theotokos falling asleep and being assumed body and soul into heaven is given to us by tradition. Archangel Gabriel came to her and told her that her repose would be in three days later. All the Apostles were mystically transported to her funeral, except for St. Thomas who was delayed. St. Thomas arrived three days later after her repose and asked to see her entombed body. But, when they rolled the stone away she was not there and there was a beautiful aroma.
In the icon we see all the apostles surrounding Mary “asleep” on her burial bed. A candle is burning in the center to represent that her life still burns on in Heaven. Christ from Heaven holds the soul of Mary, represented by an infant swaddled in white. There is a seraph at the top. St. Peter is incensing her body. I omitted some other saints like Heirotheus and Dionysius, who are responsible for handing down the Dormition tradition. Also, I omitted the communion of saints. I wanted to keep it simple for the kids.
Alex and Kristiana helped write this icon. Alex was not too happy about Kristiana’s painting skills. To be honest, neither was I. But, I told Alex that he needed to let her try so that she could learn and become better. Alex became more patient with her as time went on. We did our best.
These are our herbs from our garden that we had blessed at church.
We blessed on Sunday, because the priest would be away at a mission on the feast.
Last year I began the tradition in our house to stuff our blessed herbs into crepes.
I made garlic herb cream cheese this time.
Annie liked the crepes too. At least she liked to grab fistfuls of crepe and fed it to the dog.
Have a blessed feast of the Dormition of Blessed Theotokos. Remember our hope in resurrection of body and soul and the life to come. Say a prayer of thanksgiving for the blessings of the Church, salvation and Blessed Theotokos Mother of our Church.