A Homily/talk with the children about the Dormition. They are pretty smart!
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, …
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
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.
his 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:
o The heresy of the Theotokos as “co-mediatrix”
o The heresies of The “Immaculate Conception” and “Original Sin” are discussed at length. VERY IMPORTANT!
* The ever-virginity of the Theotokos explained.
Dormition Troparion, Kontakion & Exapostilarion, sung at St Nicholas.
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. …
The entire troparion is explained.
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. …
What follows is a little more discussion about vigil and a particuarly powerful metaphor for the Theotokos, which is mentioned in hymns to her: a furnace.