The Theotokos Delivers Her Soul, Full of Light

The Dormition 2017 (1)

It was the Lord’s day, and the 15th day of the month of August, when that blessed hour that all were awaiting drew near. It was the third hour of the day (nine o’clock in the morning). In the room a number of lamps were burning. The holy apostles were offering praise to God. Upon a beautifully adorned bed, the Theotokos was lying and preparing herself for her blessed end when her beloved Son and Lord would come to her. She then greeted each apostle with a blessing.

She then stretched her hands heavenward and prayed, saying, “I revere, praise, and glorify Thy much to be praised name, O Lord, because Thou hast looked upon the low estate of His slave. For behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.” After this prayer, she said to the apostles, “Cast incense and pray, because Christ is coming with a host of angels. And, behold, Christ is at hand, sitting on a throne of cherubim!” When they had prayed, there was thunder from heaven and there came a fearful voice, as if of chariots. Behold, a multitude of a host of angels and powers, and a voice, as if of the Son of Man was heard!

Then there shone in the room an ineffable light of divine glory which dimmed the lamps. Those that were granted this vision were struck awestricken. Many beheld the roof of the apartment open and the glory of the Lord descending from heaven. It was Christ the King of Glory with hosts of angels and archangels, and all the heavenly powers. Also with them were the holy fathers and prophets, those who prophesied of old concerning the pure Virgin. Together with them, there also approached Christ’s immaculate Mother all the righteous souls.

Saint John of Damascus also mentions that some of the most famous and righteous prophets of the Old Testament were in attendance. The text of Pseudo-John, in describing the events, records that the Theotokos’ mother, Anna, and her cousin Elisabeth appeared with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David and all the choirs of saints, singing praising and venerating the body of the Mother of the Lord.

Source: The Great Synaxaristes of the Orthodox Church, August. Holy Apostles Convent.

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