Dormition Blessing of Flowers and Herbs 2019

Father Paul Luniw served the Divine Liturgy and blessed flowers and herbs for the Dormition Feast. Father Stepan did similarly at the morning Liturgy.

“While she lived on this earth,, Mary could only be close to a few people. Being in God, who is close to us, actually, “within” all of us, Mary shares in this closeness of God. Being in God and with God, she is close to each one of us, knows our hearts, can hear our prayers, can help us with her motherly kindness and has been given to us, as the Lord said, precisely as a “mother” to whom we can turn at every moment.” Benedict XVI

Dormition Liturgies 2019

On Thursday, August 15, the Dormition of our most Holy Lady and the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary, a holy of LOVE, the Divine Liturgy will be served at:

~The 10am Liturgy in Ukrainian will be served by Fr. Stepan Yanovsky

~The 7pm Liturgy in English will be served by Fr. Paul Luniw

At both Liturgies Father will bless herbs and flowers in honor of the Dormition.

Join us in worship of God.

Blessing of Herbs and Flowers on the Dormition

Blessing of Herbs and Flowers on the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God –August 15

At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy tonight, Father Iura blessed herbs and flowers brought by the faithful for our feast. Why is this part of our Tradition?

Holy Tradition reveals to us that the Apostles, with the exception of St. Thomas, were transported mystically to Jerusalem in order to be with Mary, the Mother of God –the Theotokos– as she about to repose, and to be present at her burial. When the Apostle Thomas arrived the next day, the Apostles opened the tomb so that he could pay her reverence. The opened tomb revealed the body of the Virgin was missing, and filled with herbs and flowers interpreted as the sweet fragrance of Paradise. The faithful see this a certain sign of Mary’s purity and holiness.

Her passing is commemorated as the Dormition (the falling asleep) which is observed on August 15 preceded by a preparatory fast. The death of Mary’s body doesn’t last as she is believed to be body and soul, physically living the Most Holy Trinity in heaven.

As part of our celebration of Dormition, therefore, the priest blesses herbs and flowers which are used and kept in the homes. The blessing recalls for us the numerous cures and healings given to us by an extraordinary grace bestowed by the Mother of God. Holy Tradition and practice tells us that the herbs are used as natural medicine. During times of family strife or illness, it is a pious custom to place the flower petals in the house censer, together with the incense, and cense the whole house with it.

The Dormition of the Theotokos

“Come, all you ends of the earth, let us praise the blessed passing of the Mother of God. She delivers her sinless soul into the hands of her Son; through her holy Dormition, the world is given new life.” (Stichera at the Litija)

The feast of the birth of John the Baptist is sometimes called the summer Christmas, so also the Dormition (falling-asleep) of the Mother of God might be called the summer Pascha. In both these feasts the cosmic change accomplished by the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God is seen in the lives of human beings, for in Christ the order of mortality is overturned. In the mystery of Mary’s falling-asleep, we see our sinfulness is over-written by the sinless one, who in obedience turns over her “sinless soul” to the incarnate God.

The Gospel today is a story not about Mary, the Theotokos, but about Mary of Bethany, but the words addressed by God to her sister Martha become iconic for all human beings: “Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her” (Luke 10:42). What has she chosen? To sit at the feet of our Lord, to put Jesus at the center of her life, and to listen to him. This is Mary’s eternal mission, as she tells the stewards at the wedding in Cana: “Do whatever he (Jesus, her Son) tells you” (John 2:5). This is the mystery the ends of the earth celebrate today, for it has transformed the meaning of human life, and “through he holy Dormition, the world is given new life.”

Mediation by Archpriest David Petras

Celebrate the Dormition at St Michael’s

On Wednesday, August 15, Church celebrates feast of The Dormition of Our Holy Lady, The Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary (a Holy Day of obligation).

The Divine Liturgy will be served:

9:00 a.m. (in Ukrainian) with the Blessing of flowers and with Myrovann

7:00 p.m. (in English) with the Blessing of flowers and with Myrovann

***Bring herbs and flowers for blessing at the Liturgy as is traditional.

Forefeast of the Dormition of Mary, the Mother of God

Dance with joy, O peoples! / Clap your hands with gladness! / Gather today with fervor and jubilation; / sing with exultation. / The Mother of God is about to rise in glory, / ascending from earth to heaven. / We ceaselessly praise her in song as truly Theotokos. (Troparion, Tone 4)

Today the universe dances with joy at your glorious memorial, / and cries out to you, O Mother of God: / “Rejoice, O Virgin, pride of Christians!” (Kontakion, Tone 4)

We ought to attend to the highlighted portions of the above verses!

Dormition’s blessing of herbs and flowers

Tonight at the Divine Liturgy, Father Iura blessed herbs and flowers.

In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death. (Byzantine Liturgy; Troparion, Feast of the Dormition)

The Dormition of the Theotokos

“Come, all you ends of the earth, let us praise the blessed passing of the Mother of God. She delivers her sinless soul into the hands of her Son; through her holy Dormition, the world is given new life.” (Stichera at the Litija)

The feast of the birth of John the Baptist is sometimes called the summer Christmas, so also the Dormition (falling-asleep) of the Mother of God might be called the summer Pascha. In both these feasts the cosmic change accomplished by the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God is seen in the lives of human beings, for in Christ the order of mortality is overturned. In the mystery of Mary’s falling-asleep, we see our sinfulness is over-written by the sinless one, who in obedience turns over her “sinless soul” to the incarnate God.

The Gospel today is a story not about Mary, the Theotokos, but about Mary of Bethany, but the words addressed by God to her sister Martha become iconic for all human beings: “Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her. (Luke 10:42)” What has she chosen? To sit at the feet of our Lord, to put Jesus at the center of her life, and to listen to him. This is Mary’s eternal mission, as she tells the stewards at the wedding in Cana: “Do whatever he (Jesus, her Son) tells you. (John 2:5)” This is the mystery the ends of the earth celebrate today, for it has transformed the meaning of human life, and “through he holy Dormition, the world is given new life.”

Meditation by Archpriest David Petras

Blessing herbs and flowers on the Dormition, August 15

Neither the tomb, nor death, could hold the Theotokos, who is constant in prayer and our firm hope in her intercessions. For being the Mother of Life, she was translated to life, by the One who dwelt in her virginal womb (Kontakion for the Dormition).

As part of our celebration of Dormition on Tuesday, August 15, we will bless herbs and flowers for use in the home. Please bring herbs and flowers to Divine Liturgy (10:00 a.m. and at 7:00 p.m.). As a point of liturgical fact, the Church asks God to bless herbs and flowers –and thus us– to remind all of us of the gifts God has given us for our sustenance, healing and beauty.

Holy Tradition educates us that all the Apostles, except St. Thomas who was late, were transported mystically to Jerusalem in order to be with the Mother of God – the Theotokos – as she reposed, and to given her a burial. When Thomas arrived the next day, the Apostles opened the tomb so that he could kiss Mary farewell. The opened tomb revealed that the body of the holy Virgin of Mother of God was missing, and filled with herbs and flowers. This event was a sure sign of her great purity and holiness.

What happens to Mary happens to all of us who imitate her holy life of humility, obedience, and love.