Sunday, August 15, 2010


O marvelous wonder! 
The Fount of life hath been laid in a grave, and the tomb hath become a ladder leading to heaven. 
Rejoice, O Gethsemane, the holy chamber of the Theotokos.
And let us believers shout to her with Gabriel, the chief of the angels, saying, 
Rejoice, O full of grace. 
The Lord is with thee, granting the world, through thee, the Great Mercy.

The sepulchre of the Theotokos Blessed Virgin Mary, at the foot of Mt. Olive, Jerusalem
Another altar in the same grotto containing the sepulchre
The entrance to the sepulchre of the Theotokos, the current structure was built by crusaders in the twelfth century

In giving birth you preserved your virginity,
In falling asleep you did not forsake the world, O Theotokos.
You were translated to life, O Mother of Life,
And by your prayers, you deliver our souls from death.

Icon of dormition of the Theotokos, Dormition Abbey, Mt. Zion, Jerusalem
Statue of dormition of the Theotokos, in the grotto of Dormition Abbey
Statue of dormition of the Theotokos, in the grotto of Dormition Abbey

The apse of Dormition Abbey
The apse and altar of Dormition Abbey
Dormition Abbey, a Benedictine monastery built at the turn of twentieth century
Neither the tomb, nor death could hold the Theotokos,
Who is constant in prayer and our firm hope in her intercessions.
For being the Mother of Life,
She was translated to life by the One who dwelt in her virginal womb.

Finally, let us meditate on the mystery of dormition/assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary through two Byzantine chants.
O Marvelous Wonder, a vesperal hymn:

In Giving Birth, the festal apolytikion:

For more information on the tomb of Mary, see:

For more information on Dormition Abbey, see:

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