Feast Day: August 15th
Lamentations for the Dormition of Our Most Holy Mother of God
Apolytikion: In birth, you preserved your virginity; in death, you did not abandon the world, O Theotokos. As Mother of Life, you departed to the Source of Life, delivering our Souls from death by your intercessions.
Kontakion: 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.
Hymn: Now all generations call you Blessed, O only Theotokos. In you the laws of nature are defeated, O Undefiled Virgin Pure. In virginity childbirth was accomplished, and death introduces life. You, after bearing, are virgin, and after dying are living. Mother of God, ever save your inheritance.
On each evening of the first 15 days of August, except for Saturdays, during the period of the fast for the Dormition of Our Panagia, we Pray the Supplicatory Service of the Paraklesis, alternating each night between the Great Paraklesis and the Small Paraklesis to Our Most Holy Mother of God.
The Small Paraklesis
The Great Paraklesis
O You Apostles from far off, being gathered together, in the village of Gethsemane, lay my body in burial, and You, my Son, and my God, receive now my Spirit from me. You are the sweetness of Angels, the gladness of the afflicted ones, a protection of all Christians, O Virgin Mother of our Lord; grant me now help and save me from the eternal torments. I have you as Mediator, before God Who loves mankind; may He not question my action, before the Hosts of the Angels, I ask of you, O Virgin, hasten now quickly to my aid. You are a tower adorned with gold, a city surrounded by twelve walls, a shining throne touched by the sun, a royal seat for the King, O unexplainable wonder, how do you nurse the Master?
The Annunciation of the Dormition of Our Most Holy Mother of God
Feast Day: August 12th
Apolytikion: The Divinely-inspired message, of your Metastasis, to Heaven from Earth, you received All-Immaculate One, on the Mount of Olives. Wherefore we praise with songs Divine, your Dormition, singing hymns to you Theotokos, and faithfully crying out: Rejoice you who translocated, from the Earth to the Heavens.
Kontakion: In the place you were Praying O Immaculate One, the Archangel Gabriel came down from Heaven, making known to you with gladness O Pure One, your Holy Metastasis.
Oikos: Beforehand Gabriel had descended from Heaven, O Pure One, to the city of Nazareth, to announce the Divine pleasure and seedless conception of the Most-Divine Word, towards the reformation of the world. Now he descends to the Mount of Olives, at the counsel of your Son, in the place where you sent up Prayers to the Lord, to announce your ascent and Divine Metastasis towards Him. And you ascended towards the Kingdom above, as the Queen of All, proceeding gloriously towards the Heavens.
Megalyarion: Gabriel cried out to you “Rejoice”, descending on the Mountain, of Olives Mother of God, saying that you would, ascend in glory to your Son, who is the King of all, Virgin Immaculate.
Our Most Holy Mother of God loved to Pray on the Mount of Olives, as this was the place where her Son Jesus Christ spent much time in Prayer. Three days before her Blessed Dormition, Our Panagia was visited by Archangel Gabriel, he gave her a branch of a date palm from Paradise and told her in three days time she will join her Son and God in Heaven. Our Most Holy Mother was extremely joyful at the news she would be with her Son and see His most beautiful face again. As she Prayed with thanksgiving, the olive trees on the mountain bowed as she knelt down, and straightened up when she did.
Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos announced her most joyous news first to Saint John the Theologian, and to her close friends. Upon hearing of her Dormition, they were deeply grieved and felt like orphans. But Our Most Holy Mother of God promised she would always be with them and Pray for them, as she continues to today, as she is our Mother too.
Below is a photo of one of the garments Our Most Holy Mother of God gave to two of her friends.
As word spread amongst the Christians, they all began to gather to be with Our Panagia. God also granted the heartfelt request of His Most Holy Mother, for she wished to see all the Apostles together again and be with them during her Blessed Repose. At this time they were travelling around the World, preaching the Gospel of Christ to the ends of the Earth. By the Prayers of the Theotokos, the Apostles were each caught up by the Holy Spirit in a cloud and taken to receive her Motherly blessing and be with her. Our Panagia said to them: “Peace to you, brethren, chosen by the Lord Himself.”
“O you Apostles from far off, being gathered together, in the village of Gethsemane, lay my body in burial, and You, my Son, and my God, receive now my Spirit from me.”
“And raising herself from her bed as if she were trying to go to meet her Son, she worshipped the Lord. Looking at her with love, He said: ‘Come My near one, come My dove, come My precious treasure and enter the abodes of Eternal Life.'”
All the faithful began the procession from the home of Saint John the Divine to Panagia’s tomb in the Garden of Gethsemane. Saint Peter carried the censer, Saint John the Theologian carried the date branch from Paradise, and the other Apostles and disciples of Christ carried light lanterns, and they all chanted Psalms as they carried the Holy body of Our Mother to lay her to rest in the tomb, with Angels singing and the Holy body of the Mother of God granting miraculous healing to all who were sick.
This most beautiful procession received numerous attempts to be disrupted. One Jewish priest named Athon attempted to overturn the body of Our Lady, however he was stopped when he suffered an injury, but he received healing upon his sincere repentance. Athon then joined the procession, confessing Christ as the True God and honouring His Most Holy Mother.
When they reached the tomb at the Garden of Gethsemane all the faithful gave one last kiss to Our Most Holy Mother, and the Apostles did not want to leave her body. They remained outside the tomb for three days, Praying and singing Psalms, accompanied by the ceaseless Angelic singing heard from Heaven.
Saint Thomas, by the Providence of God, was not present for the Dormition of Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos. Arriving on the third day, he was in pain that he did not have the opportunity to say goodbye to Panagia. The Apostles opened the tomb so Saint Thomas could venerate her Holy body. To their amazement, the tomb was empty except for Panagia’s burial clothes. That evening the Holy Apostles saw Our Most Holy Mother of God, and said said to them: “Rejoice, for I am with you all the days.” Ascending to Heaven, Our Most Holy Mother of God removed her Holy Belt and gave it to Saint Thomas. The Holy Belt of Our Most Holy Mother of God is kept on Mount Athos. It remains a source of Miraculous Healings.