Dormition 2020

“When we hear someone speak about the Ark of the Covenant from the Old Testament, oftentimes we think of modern depictions, of movies, or books, and especially the biblical accounts that present us with a fearful, awesome, and even wrathful picture. We recall that about the wooden box, which was covered with pure gold, God spoke to Moses from the mercy seat in between two cherubim. … How then might we, who are grass and made of earthen clay, begin to discourse and contemplate the living Ark of God, the Most-holy Theotokos, who was the fulfillment and the awesome reality of which the Ark of the Old Testament was merely a shadow? … This present awesome and glorious mystery is something which is not a subject for speculation, for human logic, or for vain tampering. It is a tremendous mystery that is hidden and only revealed when it is humbly received from within the light of the depths of the Church’s tradition. This feast is immensely joyful and life-giving for those who with child-like faith and without argument seek to enter into its festivities. … Those who have prepared themselves with fasting and prayer and by being present at today’s festivities, the tomb of the Mother of God is joy; it is life and it is a light-covered mountain for our spiritual ascent today.

Today she, like the Ark of the Old Covenant, goes before us as a banner of victory, a wall of defense and forerunner of the fulfillment of all of God’s promises to all mankind. Having now crossed the frontier which separates us from the age to come, through her bodily ascent to heaven, she has become the highest of all creation, and the realization of the end for which humanity was created. She is the fulfillment of all beauty and virtue and is a universal advocate for all before the throne of God, now and at the second coming.” (Acquiring the Mind of Christ: Embracing the Vision of the Orthodox Church, Archimandrite Sergius (Bowyer), pp. 129-131)