Sermon on the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos by St. John Kronstadt

My beloved spiritual children in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE. Ο ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΕΝ ΤΩ ΜΕΣΩ ΗΜΩΝ! ΚΑΙ ΗΝ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΙ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΑΙ.

SERMON ON THE DORMITION OF THE MOST HOLY THEOTOKOS

"Magnify O my soul, the honorable Translation of the Mother of God from earth to heaven." (Refrain for the 9th Ode of the Canon)

Let us be happy, beloved brothers and sisters that we belong to the Holy Orthodox Church, worthily and rightly glorifying the Most Holy Sovereign Theotokos on this eminent day out of all the days of the year with special solemnity. There exists on earth many societies and entire governments that do not consider the need nor the obligation to call upon and glorify the Queen of heaven and earth, the Mother of Our Divine Lord Jesus Christ, and other Saints and Angels; to submissively serve Her lovingly, as the True Mother of God. Sadly in Russia nowadays we have heretics (among us) who actively dishonor the Mother of God, the Saints, their holy icons, their holy relics and their festivals. O, if only they also unanimously with us glorified the worthy Queen of heaven and earth!

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 holy icon of the Dormition of the Theotokos. On it is represented the Life-bearing body of the Theotokos laying on the bier, surrounded by the Holy 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.

We say that our dead have "fallen asleep" or "passed away". What does this mean? This means that for the True Christian there is no death. Death was conquered by Christ on the Cross. But there is a translation, i.e., a rearrangement of his condition, i.e., his soul is in another place, in another age, in another world beyond the grave, eternal, without end, by the voice of the Lord and the fearful yet wonderful trumpet of the Archangel, all the dead shall live and come forth each to his place: either to the resurrection of life or to the resurrection of condemnation (St. John 5:29). This is what the Christian means by translation. We should be ready for this translation, for the day of the General Resurrection and Judgment, for this indescribable world event, recorded in the Holy Scripture.

This preparation for the meeting of the Heavenly King before dread judgment seat, after death, is essentially the person's preparation throughout the whole of his life. This preparation means a change in all his thoughts, and the moral change of all his being, so that the whole man would be pure and white as snow, washing clean everything that defiles the body and spirit, so that he is adorned with every virtue: repentance, meekness, humility, gentleness, simplicity, chastity, mercifulness, abstention, spiritual contemplation, and burning love for God and neighbor.

Our preparation for meeting the Heavenly King, and for the inheritance of eternal life in heaven, should consist of these things. The Heavenly King desires souls adorned with immutable virtue, souls prepared so that the very Lord Himself could abide in them. Do not marvel that the Very Lord wants to live in us. In fact the human soul is more spacious than the heavens and the earth, for it exists in the image of God. And if one removes sins from the soul, the Lord of all will settle in it and will fill it with Himself. "We will come to him and make our dwelling" (St. John 14:23), says the Lord about the souls who love Him.

And so, ye participants in the Christian feasts, and especially the present feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God, ye who are brightly adorned with every virtue and translated to the heavenly Kingdom, to Her Son and God, proclaim to each and every one about preparing their souls to be the dwelling place of the Lord, about continual repentance, and about the incorruptible adornment of Christian virtue. Let your death also be unashamed and peaceful, serving as the pledge of a good answer at the dread judgment seat of Christ. Amen. (Source: Pravoslavie, Rus. Orthodox Christianity)

St. John of Kronstadt 27/08/2012

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ORTHODOX CHURCH QUOTES TAG ARCHIVES: DORMITION OF THE THEOTOKOS

Saint John of Damascus: On the Dormition of the Theotokos

"Thus though art also the fountain of true light, the inexhaustible treasury of life itself, the most fruitful source of blessing, who has won for us and brought up all good things--though for a while thou was covered corporeally with death; nonetheless, thou dost pour out pure and inexhaustible streams of immense Light, immortal life and true happiness, rivers of grace, fountains of healing and everlasting blessing."

+ St. John of Damascus, PG 96, 744C, quoted from The Life of the Virgin Mary, the Theotokos, Holy Apostles Convent, p 486

Saint Gregory of Tours: On the Dormition

"Finally when blessed Mary having completed the course of this life, and was to be called from the world, all the Apostles gathered to her house from their different regions. And when they had heard that she was to be taken from the world, together they kept watch with her; and lo, the Lord Jesus came with His Angels. Taking her soul, He gave it to the Archangel Michael and withdrew. At dawn the Apostles raised her body with a pallet and they place it in a vault and they guarded it awaiting the coming of the Lord. And lo, a second time the Lord stood by them and He ordered the holy body to be taken and borne to Paradise; there having rejoined the soul exultant with His elect, it enjoys the good things of eternity whichshall know no end."

+ St. Gregory of Tours, The Book of Miracles (Libri Miraculorum in PL 71, 708), quoted from The Life of the Virgin Mary, The Theotokos, Holy Apostles Convent, p 484.

St. Hierotheos: Extract from the Ecomium at the Dormition of the Theotokos

"When was such a wonder of wonders ever seen by men? How does the Queen of all lie breathless? How has the Mother of Jesus reposed? Thou, O Virgin, wast the preaching of the prophets; thou art heralded by us. All the people venerate thee; the Angels glorify thee. Rejoice, thou who art full of grace, the Lord is with thee, and through thee, with us. With Gabriel we hymn thee, with the Angels we glorify thee; and with the prophets we praise thee, for they announce thee.

Habakkum beheld thee as an overshadowed mountain, for thou art covered with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Daniel beheld thee as a mountain from whom, seedlessly, the solid and strong King, the Christ, issued forth. Jacob saw thee as a ladder upon Whom Christ came down to eat and drink with us. And although we, His slaves, contemplate ascending into the heavens, yet thou has ascended before all. Rejoice, O Virgin, for Gideon beheld thee as a fleece. David saw thee as the virgin daughter of the King. Isaiah called thee Mother of God and Ezekiel a gate. All the prophets prophesied thee!

What shall we call thee, O Virgin? Paradise. It is meet, for thou has blossomed forth the flower of incorruption, Christ, Who is the sweet-smelling fragrance for the souls of men. Virgin? Verily, a virgin thou art, for without the seed of man thou gavest birth to our Lord Jesus Christ. Thou was a virgin before birth and virgin at birth and still a virgin after. Shall we call thee Mother? This is meet too; for as a Mother thou gavest birth to Christ the King of all. Shall we name thee Heaven? This thou art also for upon thee rose the Sun of Righteousness. Wherefore, rejoice O Virgin, and hasten to thy Son's rest and dwell in the tents of His beloved. Hasten there and make ready a palace and remember us and all thy people also, too. O Lady Mother of God, for both we and thyself are of the race of Adam. On account of this, intercede on our behalf; for this supplicate thy Son Whom thou has held in thine embrace, and help us in our preaching and then afterwards that we may find rest in our hopes. Go forward, O Virgin from earth to heaven, from corruption to incorruption, from the sorrow of this world to the joy of the Kingdom of the heavens, from this perishable earth to the everlasting Heaven. Hasten, O Virgin to the heavenly Light, to the hymns of the Angels, to the glory of the Saints from all the ages. Hasten, O Virgin, to the place of thy Son, to His Kingdom, to His power, where the Angels chant, the prophets glorify and the Archangels hymn the Mother of the King, Who is the lit Lampstand, wider than the heavens, the firmament above, the protection of Christians, and the mediatress of our race."

+St. Hierotheos, Quoted from The Life of the Virgin Mary, the Theotokos, Holy Apostles Convent, pp 476-77. Originally sourced from The Great Synaxaristes of the Orthodox Church (in Greek), see footnote 134, pg. 592, in The Life of the Virgin Mary for greater detail.

Elder Thaddeus: The Most Holy Mother of God prays for us ceaselessly...

"The Most Holy Mother of God prays for us ceaselessly. She is always visiting us. Whenever we turn to her in our heart, she is there. After the Lord, she is the greatest protection for mankind. How many churches there are in the world that are dedicated to the Most Holy Mother of God! How many healing springs where people are cured of their ailments have sprung up in places where the Most Holy Theotokos appeared and blessed those springs to heal both the sick and the healthy! She is constantly, by our side, and all too often we forget her."

+ Elder Thaddeus, Homily on the Dormition of the Theotokos delivered August 15/28 Quoted from Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives: the Life and Teachings of Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

Saint John Maximovich: When the Church tells us in her hymns and icons...

"...when the Church tells us in her hymns and icons that the Apostles were miraculously gathered from the ends of the earth in order to be present at the repose and burial of the Mother of God, we as Orthodox Christians are not free to deny this or reinterpret it, but must believe as the Church hands it down to us, with simplicity of heart."

--St. John Maximovich, The Orthodox Veneration of Mary the Birthgiver of God

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MY BLESSING TO ALL OF YOU

The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.

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Glory Be To GOD For All Things!

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With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry)
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+Father George