Many do not know when I refer to the Dormition of the Most-Holy Theotokos what is implied. Since we Orthodox recently celebrated the feastday "falling asleep of Mary, the Mother of God," I recall some twenty-eight years ago, through this Icon, Orthodoxy and Mary revealed itself to me, and as a result, led me into the fullness of the faith.
Yesterday, at a train station, while conversing with a well seasoned christian, who said that in his church, Mary's death was not even discussed. If it were important it would have appeared in the word, so it is of no consequence, he continued. I told him that Tradition was important in the understanding of the bible, as well as the Word. Icons also have a way of showing the event without even uttering a word, for those who can't hear, also for children and those who cannot read.
Actually there are many references in the bible that place Mary the Theotokos (Godbearer) in highest esteem such as: Psalm 45:17 "I will make Your name to be remembered in all generations; Therefore the people shall praise You forever and ever." And in Luke 1:48 Mary filled with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, predicted the honor that would be paid her throughout history. "For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed." The study aid of verse 48 says that "It is not possible to believe and obey the Bible and not bless the Mother of God."
A special hymn is sung to express Mary's unique place in creation.
"It is truly right to bless you, O Theotokos, ever-blessed and most pure, and the mother of our God. More honorable than the Cherubim, and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim, without defilement you gave birth to God the Word: True Theotokos, we magnify you."
We venerate Mary because she is God's mother . He chose her and sets her apart. She is the queen of heaven. That is found in Psalm 45:v9b. "At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir."
Our Lord and Savior, having become one like us Phil2:5-8"who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross."
Jesus, emptying himself, becoming human, incarnate and fully man by nature, having taken flesh from Mary his own mother, who He did miracles for, at her pleading, at the wedding at Cana, and left to the care of his beloved apostle, John-- does anyone seriously think he would have abandoned her at the time of her death?
We venerate Mary and entreat her, as the human being most intimate with Christ on earth, to intercede with her Son on our behalf, for guidance and protection. We do not worship her and certainly the bible tells us that she is in heaven.
Most Holy Mother of our God have mercy on us.
Scriptual references have been taken from the Orthodox Study Bible
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