Archive for the ‘Dormition (Falling Asleep) of the Theotokos’ Category

A Homily/talk with the children about the Dormition. They are pretty smart!

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

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Synopsis: A Homily/talk with the children about the Dormition. They are pretty smart!


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A Prayer to the Most Holy Theotokos, by St John of Damascus From His Third Sermon on the Dormition

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011


 

Dormition of the Mother of God, by Theophanes, http://www.orthodox.net/ikons/dormition-theophanes-the-greek-01.jpg

 

No one stands between Son and Mother. … Accept, then, my good-will, which is greater than my capacity, and give us salvation.

 

Heal our passions,

Cure our diseases,

Help us out of our difficulties,

Make our lives peaceful,

Send us the illumination of the Spirit.

Inflame us with the desire of thy son.

Render us pleasing to Him, so that we may enjoy happiness with Him, seeing thee resplendent with thy Son’s glory, rejoicing forever, keeping feast in the Church with those who worthily celebrate Him who worked our salvation through thee, Christ the Son of God, and our God.

 

To Him be glory and majesty, with the uncreated Father and the all-holy and life-giving Spirit, now and forever, through the endless ages of eternity. Amen.

 

 

St John of Damascus http://www.orthodox.net/ikons/john-of-damascus-02-photios-kontoglou.jpg Excerpted from Sermon 3 on the Dormition, by St. John of Damascus

 

 

 

 

Priest Seraphim Holland 2011     St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas

 

This article is at:

http://www.orthodox.net/journal/2011-08-31-prayer-to-the-most-holy-theotokos-by-st-john-of-damascus-from-his-third-sermon-on-the-dormition.html

http://www.orthodox.net/journal/2011-08-31-prayer-to-the-most-holy-theotokos-by-st-john-of-damascus-from-his-third-sermon-on-the-dormition.doc

 

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The Dormition troparion and kontakion in English and Church Slavonic, Exapostilarion with additional verses and Dormition stichera on “Lord I have cried” sung by the choir at St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox church in McKinney, TX. 15/28 August 2011. Video

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

 

The Dormition trioparion and kontakion in English and Church Slavonic, sung by the choir at St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox church in McKiiney, TX. 15/28 August 2011

http://youtu.be/dI48nUT18IQ


 

 

The Dormition Exapostilarion with additional verses, sung by the choir at St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox church in McKiiney, TX. 15/28 August 2011

http://youtu.be/6tkoNgZHeLU


 

The Dormition stichera on "Lord I have cried" sung by the choir at St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox church in McKiiney, TX. 15/28 August 2011

http://youtu.be/J9ghXq_i4CI

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“Mary hath chosen that good part” and “blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it.” Dormition of the Theotokos.

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Dormition of the Theotokos by Theopanes the Greek.

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Synopsis: The usual reading for feasts of the Mother of God is actually a composite reading in which she does not appear at all, but another "Mary" (the sister of Lazarus) is mentioned, who shares her name. The reason why is because this selection, coupled with a later part of the same Gospel succinctly sums up the virtues of the Theotokos: "Mary hath chosen that good part" and "blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it." On this great day, let us examine ourselves, as to whether we have also chosen that good part, and kept the word of God. This is why we venerate the Most Holy Theotokos with such love; our veneration is in vain if we do not also emulate! Let us examine how we can accomplish this.

More homilies on the Feasts of the Theotokos are HERE

Homilies on the Paraklesis Canon to the Theotokos are HERE

Luke 10:38-42; 11:27-28 38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. 40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. 41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. 27 And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. 28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.


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The Dormition of the Theotokos. A short talk.

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

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This Sunday was the leavetaking of the feast of the Dormition. Here is a short talk about the Dormition of the Theotokos.

  • Dormition means falling asleep
  • The Story.
  • A balanced view.
  • The intercession of the Theotokos.
  • Heresies about the Theotokos:
    • The heresy of the Theotokos as "co-mediatrix"
    • The heresies of The "Immaculate Conception" and "Original Sin" are discussed at length. VERY IMPORTANT!
  • The ever-virginity of the Theotokos explained.

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Dormition Troparion, Kontakion & Exapostilarion, sung at St Nicholas.

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

I forgot about this one. We are still in the festal period, so have a listen.

LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtFHdVdHotE

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Feasts of the Theotokos – Dormition Explanation of the Dormition troparion.

Friday, August 27th, 2010

Feasts of the Theotokos – Dormition
Explanation of the Dormition troparion
2009

 

In giving birth thou didst preserve thy virginity; /

in thy dormition  thou didst not forsake the world, O Theotokos. /

Thou wast translated unto life,  /

since thou art the Mother of Life, /

and by thine intercessions doest thou deliver our souls from death.

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

We can learn almost everything that we need to know from listening and praying in the services.

 

The Dormition troparion, “In giving birth Thou did preserve Thy virginity,” proclaims our belief, that the  Theotokos was a virgin before birth, during birth and after birth. And if you want to have this explained, then you do not understand. It is a mystery that we cannot understand, but the Church has been unanimous about this for well over a millennium, almost two millennia.

But of course we always look at the deeper meaning of things. Virginity is not just to not have intercourse with a man. Virginity is purity, it is holiness, and the Theotokos, above all human mortals that were born, preserved Her holiness and Her purity.

“In Thy dormition Thou did not forsake the world, 0 Theotokos.”

 

Dormition means “Falling asleep”. We believe and our services proclaim over and over again, that the Theotokos, being born of Adam, being of human stuff, died and was buried. And we know then that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ came to take Her soul with Her body to Heaven.

 
But She did die, because the services proclaimed very poetically at one point last night, that, if the Lord Jesus Christ must have gone to the Cross and died, why wouldn’t also the Theotokos also die?

So, “In Thy dormition Thou did not forsake the world, 0 Theotokos.” This also proclaims our belief not only about the Theotokos but about all the saints, about the Resurrection. She died but she has not forsaken us.

 

In this She is not unique. The saints have not forsaken us either. She is par excellence, the intercessor for the Church, but only one of many intercessors for the Church because God is the God of the living, not of the dead. So we proclaim that in Her dormition She has not forsaken us because She is not dead. And we say this emphatically.

“Thou was translated unto life, since Thou art the Mother of Life.”

 

I find it interesting in the service how it is said of her that she was “translated”, many times, but the mystery of Her being translated bodily by our Lord is sort of hinted at but not said explicitly. And I think this is because, for the mysteries of the Church, “Those who have ears to hear, let them hear. Those who have eyes to see, let them see.” Those who do not really care about holy things will not understand this.

But those who love holy things, love the things of God, will treasure the Mother of God, Her Ever Virginity, Her holiness, Her special treatment by Her Son in which She alone, of all mortals, after Her death was escorted into the Heavenly Mansions, body and soul, by Her Savior and Her Son.

The services over and over speak about how this must be so, that She would be translated into life. She is the Mother of Life. God was within Her womb. We call Her “Platytera”  – More spacious than the Heavens. And we cannot understand this. And yet we speak of it and meditate about it in our services over and over again because it’s so magnificent, so wonderful, so terrible, that a human being, with human failings, with a need of a savior, would bear the very Savior that She and all of the human race needed. This is an amazing thing. Only those who have become holy can really understand it.

 

My namesake, Seraphim of Sarov, would pray before an icon of the Mother of God on his knees all the time. He had a great love for the Mother of God. The Mother of God visited him. He understood Her because they were of the same kind. They were holy. They had preserved their virginity, not the bodily virginity, but the spiritual virginity.

 

Alas, we must say that many times we are not preserving our virginity. Of course, with God’s help we can always regain it.

“Thou was translated unto life, since Thou art the Mother of Life, and by Thine intercessions Thou did save our souls from death.”

We believe that the Theotokos prays for us. Her intercessions to Her Savior are beneficial to us. We have a balanced view of the Mother of God.

Recently someone was asking me about differences in the services. All of the services about the Theotokos, are high feasts, highly ranked but not as highly ranked as Feasts of the Lord.

 

There are differences in Feasts of the Lord. Feasts of the Lord supersede everything. Only Feasts of the Lord have an entrance On Feasts of the Lord, all fasting is omitted on that day, with the exception of Transfiguration, but that’s during a fast. On Feasts of a Theotokos that fall on a fasting day, we can have fish, wine and oil. but we still fast from meat, cheese and eggs. This is because Her feast is of a lower rank because She is of a lower rank than God, and also highest rank of all humans. We have a balanced view of Her.

We believe  … Sometimes when I say “believe,” I remember that our society has a very poor definition of “belief.” For them, “belief” means, “I’m pretty sure this is the case.” For us, “belief” is, “We know and confess that this is true.”

 

We believe that the Mother of God prays for us, and by Her intercessions we are saved. She hears what we need. She brings our needs before Her Son. As the saints do. As the angels do. As our Guardian Angel does. But we are especially comforted that the Mother of our Lord would bring our petitions before Her Son, and we have great confidence in Her petitions, although not in our own.

The entire Dormition troparion teaches, in a nutshell, our understanding of the Theotokos. You can do this, by the way, with almost any troparion. You can see that the troparion, together with the kontakion, gives a summation of the theology of the feast.

 

She preserved Her virginity because She was pure and holy and loved God above all things. It is impossible to imagine that someone who had borne God would live a mundane life afterwards, would just be just a Jewish village woman having children and going to the market place to catch up on the latest gossip, living just a regular life. How can this be? Our services continually speak of how She was so changed that she no longer lived a mundane life.

 
Now, She was still a human being, completely human, not anything greater than human, just human. She was just like us, with failings, with misunderstandings. The Gospel shows that She did not completely understand everything all at once. But what caused Her to eventually have such profound understanding with Her Son is that She treasured everything in Her heart. So should we. We should be more like Her. We should emulate Her. We know that She preserved Her virginity. So should we.

We have confidence in the Resurrection. So we know that Her intercessions are heard by our Savior and help to save us.

May God, through the prayers of the Theotokos, save us, Amen.

 

Transcribed by the handmaiden Helen.

 

Priest Seraphim Holland 2009.    

 

This and other Orthodox materials are available in from:

St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas

 

·         Mailing Address: Box 37, McKinney, TX 75070

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This homily is at:

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/feasts-of-the-theotokos_2009-08-28+dormition+explanation-of-the-dormition-troparion.html

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/feasts-of-the-theotokos_2009-08-28+dormition+explanation-of-the-dormition-troparion.doc

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Dormition hymns: The Furnace and the Theotokos. The Three Holy Children. The Angel of the Lord.

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009


 

The Three Holy Children.

The Angel of the Lord.

Dormition hymns: The Furnace and the Theotokos

The Best time to hear the hymns of the church.

Everything depends on our disposition.

Aug 13/26 2009 Two Days before Dormition.

 

 

The Three Holy Children, in the furnace, with the "Angel of the Lord", the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ.

 

The almighty Angel of God showed forth for the youths a flame which bedewed the venerable and utterly consumed the ungodly; and He made the Theotokos a life-creating well-spring pouring forth destruction for death and life for them that chant: O ye who have been delivered, let us hymn and exalt the one Creator for all ages! (Dormition matins, Canon, Irmos, Ode VIII)

 

 

I am amazed at how often the hymns at the end of vigil seem so much more profound and beautiful than those at the beginning. I do not think they are of substantially higher quality, although it could be argued that the “Canon” is the masterpiece of all Orthodox hymnology, but I do believe that WE are of higher quality! Standing (sitting, pacing, having an itch, having your mind wander, thinking about how your feet hurt, getting hungry, etc, etc) during the vigil prepares us for holy moments when something being chanted seems to permeate to the very depths of our soul.

 

We are not “quiet” at the beginning of vigil. Our souls are coarse, noisy. It takes some seasoning for us to be prepared to “sit at the feet” of our Lord, and contemplate the one thing needful. Towards the end of vigil, we have quieted down somewhat, and are prepared for something fantastic, although ineffable and invisible, and perhaps even barely discernable, to happen in our soul.

 

If you have not experienced this type of “Theophany” during the evening service, then come to vigil – all of it, as often as can. It will happen for you, but I warn you, if you are not accustomed to long vigils, you will have many attacks that make you want to leave. You cannot feel anything until you are made ready. This will take consistency, and TIME. Don’t expect the first or even the thirtieth vigil in a row that you attend to bring you great consolation, but it will come if you are patient.

 

Here before us we have a holy metaphor. The Theotokos, amidst her many other names (“jar of manna, “gate that remained shut“, “ever-virgin“, “rod that budded“, etc) is now likened to a furnace.

 

The furnace in which the three youths were cast contained flame, and then was visited by the divine flame, the “Angel of the Lord”, who is none other than Jesus Christ, in an appearance before His bodily incarnation (when you see “Angel of the Lord” in the OT, translate this to “Jesus Christ”).

 

The Theotokos is the furnace that also contained the Divine Flame, Jesus Christ, however in her case, He is fully incarnate, God and man. In both furnaces, the flame burns the ungodly and refreshes those who love God (which the hymn calls "venerable").

 

God is the same, to the righteous and unrighteous. The action of the fire in the furnace demonstrates this truth. The Chaldeans who were feeding the furnace we slain by the flames, but the three holy youths considered them to be a “moist dew”. It is the same with the Divine flame, Jesus Christ.  The ungodly are burned, and the righteous are refreshed.

 

The recent feast of the Transfiguration should teach us that becoming righteous is a process of long duration and great difficulty; we are not immediately ready to be in the presence of God after our baptism because we have not changed enough yet. The three apostles were terrified and confused in the presence of the uncreated Divine Light. They eventually were ready, but not until great trials, difficulties, falls and repentance. How can it be any different for us poor ones?

 

 

 

Priest Seraphim Holland 2009.     St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas

 

This article is at: http://www.orthodox.net/journal/2009-08-26_dormition-hymns+three-holy-children-in-the-furnace.doc and

http://orthodox.net/redeemingthetime/2009/08/26/dormition-hymn…-the-theotokosdormition-hymns-the-furnace-and-the-theotokos/

 

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