Eastern Christianity

Dormition of the Theotokos

Higher in honor than the cherubim, infinitely more glorious than the seraphim . . .

The Dormition of the Theotokos is the Eastern title of the great feast celebrated today – in the West it is referred to as the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The dormition (falling-asleep) of the Theotokos (God-Bearer) is the commemoration of our Lord taking Mary’s body into heaven.

Falling asleep is a euphemism for death – it is widely held in the East that upon Mary’s death she was taken bodily to heaven.

Incidentally in the West, there are competing scholarly opinions as to whether Mary actually died before being assumed into heaven.

It probably doesn’t much matter whether she died or not. What does matter is that God deemed her body to be taken to heaven, which is an enormous privilege!

Can you guess who else might be bodily in heaven? Sacred Scripture suggests that both Elijah & Enoch are there as well. As such, we know that only four bodies are in heaven:

  1. Our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ
  2. Mary, the Mother of God
  3. The glorious prophet Elijah, and
  4. “the one who walked with God,” Enoch

Peace to you on this great feast!

Go to Mass today, even if it’s not obligatory ~~ it’s just a good thing to do!

Categories: Catechetics, Eastern Christianity, Linguistics | Leave a comment

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