August 1 - Dormition (Koimsis) Fast Begins - Strict Fast

“Directress” Icon of the Mother of God

“Directress” Icon of the Mother of God

My beloved spiritual children in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,


The August Fast begins on August 1st. On this day our Holy Orthodox Christian Church celebrates the Procession of the Precious and Life-giving Cross. The Holy Seven Maccabee Children, Solomone, their mother, and Eleazar, their teacher.

Because of the many diseases that occur in the month of August, the custom prevailed of old in Constantinople to carry the Precious Wood of the Cross in procession throughout the city for it sanctification and its deliverance from illnesses. It was brought forth from the imperial treasury on the last day of July and placed upon the Holy Table of the Great Church of the Holy Wisdom (Saint Sophia); and beginning today, until the Dormition (Koimisis) of the Theotokos, it was carried in procession throughout the city and was set forth for veneration before the people.

Apolytikion (Dimissal) Hymn of the Holy Cross. First Tone

Save, O Lord, Thy people and bless Thine inheritance grant Thou unto the faithful victory over adversaries.  And by the power of Thy Cross do Thou preserve Thy commonwealth.

Kontakion Hymn of the Holy Cross. Fourth Tone

Thou Who wast raised up on the Cross of Thine own will, O Christ our God, do Thou bestow Thy compassions upon this, Thy might our most Orthodox hierarchs, and vouchsafe them victory over every false teaching; and as Thy help in war they possess the weapon of peace, the trophy invincible. (Source: The Great Horologion)


In the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostomos celebrated in the Orthodox Church, the priest repeats the following prayer a number of times: "Let us commit ourselves and one another, and our whole life to Christ Our God."

The Ecclesiastical Year, as you all know, begins on September 1st, has been divinely developed by the Holy Church Fathers with feasts and fasts to aid our life in the God-Man Christ, our Savior. August 1-15: The holiness of these two weeks gives fuel for the faithful to energize their spiritual struggle; this is one reason why the Holy Dormition period is affectionately known as the Summer Pascha (το Πάσχα του Καλοκαιριού).

Our Lord Jesus Christ speaking about how and why we should treat our fellow man with love and compassion says, "...Assuredly, I say to you inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me." (St. Matthew 25:40). If He can say this about our fellow man why would He not say the same for the way we treat His Holy Mother, the Theotokos. Remember how He loved, respected and cared for His Mother that even from the Cross He made sure that she would be taken care of by His beloved disciples Saint John the Theologian. "When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, 'Woman, behold your son!' Then He said to the disciple 'Behold your mother!' And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home" (St. John 19:26-27).

It is totally unthinkable that we, as Orthodox Christians, would neglect or ignore to venerate His Holy Mother. The Theotokos, Mother of God, the Ever-Virgin Mary became the Vessel of the Lord of Glory Himself, and bore in the flesh Him Whom heaven and earth cannot contain. We, in our Holy Orthodox Christian Church, refer her as the "the Platytera Ton Ouranon" ("She is more spacious than the Heavens").  

Our most beautiful, and at the same time, humble Chapel dedicated to the Ever-Virgin Mary's Holy Dormition (Koimisis) is a gift from her to our parish. It is a place of peace and prayer. People from New Carlisle who are not even members of our Church park outside the Chapel since it is not open daily and they simply spend time outside of it and pray and find solace and strength. Why would the faithful of Saint Andrew not find the same thing? That inspiration and blessing from the Mother of God?

The Holy Dormition Chapel of the Theotokos is a spiritual treasure. Our lives are full of conflict, unrest, stress, pressure and responsibilities. Let us use our Chapel to discover the many blessings that come from the Theotokos. We refer to our Panagia also as the Queen of Heaven. There is a beautiful holy icon of the Mother of God known as the "Directress." In other words the Mother of our Lord directs all of us to Him Who is Life, Who is Light, and Who is the Resurrection. Jesus always hears the intercessions of His Mother and out of love for her He has mercy on us.

The Chapel is a place of healing. A place where one finds himself/herself. A place where we are restored spiritually and find hope.

Please follow the schedule of divine services at the Chapel and bring your entire family to worship together.

In Christ's service,

+Father George