Beloved, there is a tradition to dedicate the entire month of August to the Theotokos, the first two weeks understandably coincide with the fast for her Dormition, the last two weeks as a continuous celebration of this feast.
To the worldly, many things about our holy faith seem as nonsense. After all, they celebrate with boisterous revelry before holidays such as Christmas, becoming exhausted when the holiday finally arrives. As such, how is it that we can celebrate the death of a dear one? Little do they understand the venerable dormition of our Lady.
We understand dormition as a falling-asleep and further as a translation – from death unto life. As the festal kontakion teaches us:
The grave and death could not hold the Mother of Life; who is sleepless in her intercessions and an unfailing hope in her mediations; for as the Mother of Life she was translated to life, by Him Who dwelt in her ever-virgin womb.
Very carefully we contemplate these words and see this celebration of the Dormition of our Lady is also a celebration of her divine Son, for through Him our Lady was translated to life.
Blessed is that “tardy Apostle”, who for our sakes was delayed from being present at the funeral of the Theotokos. When the Apostle Thomas arrived after three days, his love for the Mother of God was so great that he wanted to see her one last time. Behold the wonder, for our Lady was translated. Her body could no longer be found in the tomb, for she was taken into the heavens by her Son. And shortly thereafter our Lady appeared to the Apostles assuring them she would always be with them and intercede for them to her Son, the Master of all.
So moving and so beautiful is this assurance. What can be more tender to a child than the loving embrace of a mother. Christians, we are children and have an eternal embrace from our Lord’s mother, for she is the mother of us all in spirit! Our for-mother Eve is called Zoe, meaning “life”, for she was the mother of all humankind. The Theotokos is the “new Eve” for she has become the “Mother of Life” – the Life is our Saviour. In a spiritual and mystical manner, she has truly become the mother for all of us. It is for this reason the most resplendent churches and hymns were dedicated in her honor. And for this reason let us all flee to her as a child seeks after its mother in time of need!
Most holy Theotokos save us!