Russian Orthodox Church Protection of Mother of God
Russian Orthodox Church • Patriarchial Parishes in Canada

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Icon of the Dormition, St. Catherine’s Monastery on Mt. Sinai

Today the Holy Church solemnly glorifies the honorable Dormition or translation of the Mother of God from earth to heaven. A wonderful translation – she died without serious illness, peacefully. Her soul is taken up in the divine hands of Her Son and carried up into the heavenly abode, accompanied by the sweet singing of angels. And then, her most pure body is transferred by the apostles to Gethsemane where it is honorably buried, and on the third day it is resurrected and taken up to heaven. You see this on the icon of the Dormition of the Theotokos. On it is represented the life-bearing body of the Theotokos laying on a bier, surrounded by the apostles and hierarchs, and in the center of the icon the Lord holding in His hands the most pure soul of the Theotokos. The translation of the Mother of God is a paradigm of the translation in general of the souls of Christians to the other world.

The Most Holy Virgin Theotokos, who served the Father as a daughter, Christ as Mother, and as holy servant to the Holy Spirit, ever remaining a servant and handmaid of the Lord, as it says in the Gospel, ever serving now the Most Holy Trinity in Heaven together with all the saints and angels after ceaselessly serving Him on Earth to her last breath, now ever intercedes and ever prays for us and for our salvation.

We have a kind and merciful Mother there in Heaven. Do not think that because the Mother of the Lord is translated to Heaven today that she has left the world. No! Once moving there, she has great authority and great power to help us. She is now nearer to the throne of God; she has gone there to ever look upon the needs of the poor, the prayers of widows, upon beggars, the imprisoned, the persecuted, the suffering, the sick. There she became a Mother helping everyone in trouble—all who are oppressed and all who love her and call upon her help with their whole hearts. We have a most blessed Mother in Heaven, the Mother of mercy and grace, who ever prays for the entire Church of Christ and every child of the Church of Christ individually.

Blessed and thrice blessed is every Christian who keeps an icon of the Most Holy Theotokos in their house and reads an akathist, moleben, and other prayers to the Mother of God every day. There is none in Heaven nor on Earth more powerful, save the Holy Trinity, than the Mother of God, who is mighty in helping us.

In giving birth, O Theotokos thou hast retained thy virginity, and in falling asleep thou hast not forsaken the world. Thou who art the Mother of Life hast passed over into life, and by thy prayers thou dost deliver our souls from death. (Troparion, Tone 1).

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