Homily at the Dormition of Too Clean Mistress [August 15, 2012]
The too-glorious Feast of the Dormition has 3 Readings / 3 Old Testament texts at the Great Vespers and namely Gen. 28, 10-17, Eze. 43, 27-44, 4 and The Prov. of Solom. 9, 1-11.
And they come to talk about the person and the role of the Mother of God in history of salvation.
For that the Saint Moses sees her, in prefigurative mode, as ladder (climax) supported by heaven [Gen. 28, 12, acc. LXX] and as „gate of heaven” (i pili tu uranu) [Gen. 28, 17, cf. Ibidem], the Saint Ezekiel as gate closed [Eze. 44, 2, cf. Ibidem], and the Saint Solomon as home (icon) that sits on seven pillars [The Prov. of Solom. 9, 1, cf. Ibidem].
For all her prophetic views, alongside her namings patristic, are used in the cult of Church.
Thus, in the service today, Mother of God was named right: the Theotokos, more honorable than all creation, the home of Most-High, the world’s salvation, divine holiness, the Virgin, the Emperor’s palace, the coffin/ the ark of holiness, Too Holy, Pure, Bride with the all without blame, Mother of Life, the torch of the unapproachable Light, the hope of believers, the Mistress with all good, the Bride of God, Mother of the Light always existent etc.
And through each of her namings showed her spiritual connection with her Son but and the majesty of her presence in the life of Church, of us, of all…
For why is the Mother of God the ladder supported by heaven? For that on it, to come down to us, the Son of God, Who took flesh from Too Clean Mistress.
And why is the gate of heaven? For that through the birth of the Lord from her…He gave us all entry into heaven.
And she, the Mother of God, is the closed gate, ie ever Virgin, for that only the Lord came through her… without damaging her virginity.
And she, Too Clean Mistress, is the house of God, is His palace, for that from her He took body, Who is above time, our Lord Jesus Christ.
And today, at her dormition, after two weeks of fast happy, we too-glorify on the Mother of Life, one that was moved at life, the one who moved at eternal joy through her dormition.
For that the dormition for little time was her death…after three days her Son uplifts her with the body at heaven.
And the actual Holy Icon presents the event of dormition…by the taking the holy her soul by the Lord. As we see in the center of Icon…where her soul is like a baby in white shroud.
But in the part of top of the Icon…Mother of God sits on a chair, ie with body and soul, as a resurrected from the dead…the iconographer combining thus her dormition…with her resurrection the third day and her lift with the body at heaven by the Lord.
For that this is the essential difference between the testimony of Church’s Tradition about the death and the resurrection of the Mother of Lord and the her lifting/ moving to heaven by the Lord after 3 days and false „dogma” Roman Catholic, recent, that talks about the ascension by self [I. 6] of the Mother of Lord at heaven.
For we, the Orthodox Christians, on August 15, talk about her dormition…without to have, after three days, the remembrance of her lift, by the Lord, with the body at heaven…although we confess, in the Synaxarion of the day, her resurrection the third day.
While Roman Catholics celebrate at August 15 „Ascension at heaven of the Blessed Virgin Mary”, even if, in Romania, in calendar, they have the same feastal entitling as us.
And why we, although talk about her resurrection, after three days…on August 15 celebrate…her dormition?
Why dormition and not resurrection?
For that the dormition is already entry in life.
We are not talking about death…but about death as sleep less, by short duration…emphasizing both the blessed end of the Mother of God but and her glorification.
For the Synaxarion of day tells us the fact that the Mother of Lord found her end with three days before.
Announced her, in ecstatic mode, the Archangel Gabriel, who spoke her about death as about move…move from life…at eternal life.
And Mother of God, when she heard the news of her move, „rejoiced with great joy, and by lust and by longing what she had to move to her Son, came up rather in the Mount of Olives for that to pray” [Menaion on August, ed. BOR 1929, p 168].
As our fast of now was and is full of joy, of spiritual beauty, although it is called the Dormition Fast of the Mother of God…and, for the unspiritual man, would presuppose unalleviated sadness…
But our fast is happy…as news of her dormition was happy.
It filled with joy and prayer on Mother of God.
In so sort that, then when she climbed on mountain…olive trees were atilted/ worshiped our Mistress.
For the inanimate creation knows/ recognizes the man full of grace…
And Mother of God has received from Gabriel palm branch…she prepared for her burial…she took goodbye to all…and the Apostles of the Lord came, on the clouds of glory, as to say goodbye from the Mistress of the world.
And alongside them three great Saints Hierarchs of the Church: Dionysius the Areopagite, Hierotheos and Timothy, paradoxical, in Icon presents only them, amongst participants, having aureoles…and, consternating, no Apostle of the Lord not-having.
But is, as I said and once, a great error the fact that Orthodox iconographers forget…to put aureoles Apostles in almost all iconographic scenes in which they appear together with the Lord or with Mother of the Lord.
But the Icon of the Dormition of Lord’s Mother is and a parental admonition of those who deny (thing with all inexplicable for some Orthodox theologians, that must to be faithful to Church’s Tradition and not heterodox inventions the latest) the veracity of the person and of the opera of Saint Dionysius the Areopagite, implicit and the veracity of life of Saint Hierarch Hierotheos.
They participated at the funeral office of Mother of Lord for that they are disciples of the Saint Apostle Paul, namely men who lived in the first century after Christ.
And when the Mother of God gave up her ghost, „soon the eyes of blinds were bright and the hearing of deafs was opened, the lame have turned and all kinds of passion and disease too easily be healed” [Idem, p 169].
And the Saint Apostle Peter began the song of burial…and some leaded the bed with the body of Mather of Lord and others sang or carried in their hands lighted torches.
They buried her in Gethsemane…the Saint Apostle Thomas, the single, was not present.
And three days were heard in grave angelical voices who sang…
And the Divine Thomas, when he wanted to see the body of the Mother of God, the third day after her dormition…found in the grave only her shroud.
For that the Lord had risen on His Mother and had taken her to Himself.
The Lord and Heavenly Powers…together with the Holy Apostles, divinely brought from places where they preached and, the same, and the great Hierarchs of the Church…
Into a choir, into a single assembly divine and human…for that to teach us through her dormition…how to bury our dead.
Not with paganish tears…but with joy and divine confidence!
For that those who have lived in Christ are not dead but are alive and together with Him.
Therefore, today, we live a day happy, too- divine at the middle of summer.
We live a day of spiritual baking, of divine understanding.
For that Mother of God makes herself to us ladder towards heaven, makes herself to us gate towards the Kingdom, makes herself to us house of refuge, makes herself to us comfort and joy, of us, those who honor her after decency and pray her in all days of our life…that to pray, to pray without ceasing for us…
Because this is love: unforgeteness.
Who that does not forget us…is the joy of our life.
And who has not lived and does not live the joy of mercy of Too Clean Mistress, who has not learned of her chastity, virginity, simplicity, divine beauty, piety, innocence, the longing of God is a man…desolated of beauty.
For that she is the beauty of our life, she is the relief of our days, into our Mistress put us the hope of our salvation, for that she is the expectation and our response from the Lord.
Therefore we bless you with peace and divine joy in this day of feast and we are convinced that the Mother of God, on each in part, will help us and comfort and will teach us to live beautiful before God and man.
At many years and the Lord of glory, Who glorified with the Father and with the Holy Ghost, our God, grant you love for His Mother and for all what is beautiful and holy! Amin.