The Dormition of Theotokos – Full Photo Report – Part 1: The Vigil

Thus as art can also be the fountain of true light, the inexhaustible treasury of life itself, the most fruitful source of blessing, who has won for us and brought us all good things — though for a while thou wast covered corporeally with death; nonetheless, thou dost pour out pure and inexhaustible streams of immense light, immortal life and true happiness, rivers of grace, fountains of healing and everlasting blessing.

So, it was right that the eyewitnesses and minsters of the Word should see the Dormition of His Mother according to the flesh, the final mystery concerning her: hence, they might be witnesses not only to the Ascension of the Savior but also to the translation of her who gave birth to Him. Assembled from all parts of the world, obeying divine power, the Apostles came to Sion, as the Virgin who is higher than the Cherubim sped on her way to heaven.

If her Fruit, Whom none may ever comprehend, on Whose account she was called a heaven, submitted of His own will to being buried as a mortal, how should she, who gave Him birth without knowing a man, refuse death?

Based on St. John of Damascus

This candid shot is from the entrance during Vespers services of the Feast of Dormition of the Theotokos at Vatopedi Monastery, Mount Athos. There were actually two metropolitans present for the feast. The one depicted in this photo on the throne is Panteleimon of Maroneias and the other hierarch who chanted with us and even read the prayers of Holy Communion (see the other photos) was Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta. He enjoyed the feast mostly as a simple monk because he has been a brother of Vatopedi since 1963 before ascending to the metropolitan throne.

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