Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Saint Gregory Palamas on the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos

Saint Gregory Palamas writes,

her "death was also life-bearing, translating her into a celestial and immortal life." And that her falling asleep was "a joyful event and festivity for the entire world. It not only renewed the memory of her wondrous deeds, but also added the novel delivery from faraway nations of the sacred Apostles to her most holy burial." We learn also that the Apostles and hierarchs composed their God-revealing hymns and encomia. "The presence of the angelic choirs was standing by, aiding and presiding. Together with the Apostles, the incorporeals went on before, followed after, assisting, opposing, defending and being defended. Both celestial and terrestrial beings labored and chanted together to their uttermost with them who also venerated her life -originating and God-receiving body; for she is the healing and saving remedy of our race and the majesty of all creation. But they (the angelic hosts) strove against and opposed with a concealed hand those Jews who fought against God by rising up against and attacking that body. Nonetheless, the Son of the Ever-Virgin and Lord of Sabaoth was present Himself. Into His hands she commended her God-bearing spirit, through which and with which its yoke-fellow, her body, was translated into the celestial regions, as was meet."”

Saint Gregory Palamas writes:

"Today we celebrate her holy Dormition or translation to another life. While being 'a little lower than the angels' (referring to her mortality), by her proximity to the God of all ... she has ascended higher than the angels and the archangels and all the hosts that are found beyond them."

In accordance with the hymnography of the Church, the gates of heaven were lifted, and the angels sang. Open wide the gates and receive above the world the Mother of the everlasting Light.

Saint Gregory’s homily on the Dormition of the Theotokos

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