August 15, 2017

What Humanity Gained Through the Dormition of the Theotokos

1. Until yesterday, I have preached to the Gentiles that you have given birth to God in the flesh; from now on, I shall also teach that you have been allowed to pass over into His presence, so that the Gentiles may realize that their own salvation is confirmed by your intercession, so that they, too, might have a permanent patron before God.

- St. Germanos of Constantinople, Third Homily on the Dormition

2. Depart from your dwelling-place within creation; be an intercessor with the Lord on behalf of the corporeal reality we share. As long as you dwelt among the people of this earth, only a small part of the earth contained you. But since you have been taken from the earth to your new home, the entire universe owns you as its common altar of cleansing sacrifice.

- St. Germanos of Constantinople, Third Homily on the Dormition

3. Now the Mother of God shuts her physical eyes, and opens her spiritual eyes towards us like great shining stars that will never set, to watch over us and to intercede before the face of God for the world’s protection. Now those lips, moved by God’s grace to articulate sounds, grow silent, but she opens her [spiritual] mouth to intercede eternally for all of her race. Now she lowers those bodily hands that once bore God, only to raise them, in incorruptible form, in prayer to the Lord on behalf of all creation. At this moment her natural form, radiant as the sun, is hidden; yet her light shines through her painted image, and she offers it to the people for the life-giving kiss of relative veneration, even if the heretics are unwilling. The holy dove has flown to her home above, yet she does not cease to protect those below; departing from her body, she is with us in spirit; gathered up to heaven, she banishes demons by her intercession to the Lord.

- St. Theodore the Studite, Encomium on the Dormition of the Theotokos

4. It was right, therefore, that the body which brought forth the Son should be glorified with Him in divine glory, and that the ark of Christ's holiness should arise with Him who rose on the third day... It was not, however, necessary for her, as it was for her Son and God, to stay for a while longer on earth, so she was taken up directly from the grave to the heavenly realm, hence she sends bright shafts of holy light and grace down to earth, illuminating all the space around the world, and is venerated, admired, and hymned by all the faithful.

- St. Gregory Palamas, Homily 37 On the Dormition of the Mother of God

5. In giving birth thou didst keep thy virginity, and in thy falling asleep thou didst not forsake the world, O Mother of God. Thou didst pass on to life, since thou art the Mother of Life, and by thy intercessions thou redeemest our souls from death.

- Apolytikion in the First Tone