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The Theological August: Pastoral Encyclical for the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos (Metr. Hierotheos of Nafpaktos)


In the center of Summer, and in reality in the course of the month of August, we have fun the feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos, from whom Christ took on human nature and entered historical past because the God-man Christ.In the primary days of August till the eve of August fifteenth, we chant within the sacred church buildings the Supplicatory Canons to the Most Holy Theotokos, the Small and the Great Parakleseis, that are filled with theological and non secular meanings. With theological phrases and great photographs, all the common work of Christ and His Mother is introduced.

In the Supplicatory Canons, the ache in human life, bodily ache, internal and secret ache, non secular ache, temporal and everlasting ache is tragedized in an intense method. Man is filled with the ache that comes from his mortal and impassioned physique, and is expressed by illnesses, sins, passions, orphanhood, loneliness, betrayal by individuals, deprivation of affection, despair, uncertainty of the long run. Man is immersed in ache from the primary day of his beginning till the tip of his organic life.

The Most Holy Theotokos, as a human being and Mother of Christ, skilled ache in her life, from the suspicion of the individuals when she conceived with out marrying, from the beginning of Christ within the cave, the concern of the slaughter of her new child, her transfer to Egypt as a refugee whereas she was the mom of a small baby, her return from exile in Nazareth, the difficulties attributable to the deprivation of fabric items, and later she lived with ache from the Passion and the Cross of her son, Jesus Christ. In the trials of our Panagia we see our personal trials, and that’s the reason we perceive her, however we additionally really feel that she additionally understands us.

And after the Supplicatory Canons, throughout which we export out from our hearts our personal ache and our personal journeys, in the course of August comes the feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos. Here we’re now not coping with abnormal on a regular basis conditions, particularly ache, the deprivation of fabric items, being a refugee, slanders, injustices, however with loss of life itself.

Death is certainly horrible, the “final enemy” of man (1 Cor. 16:26) which deprives us of communication with our family members, which causes the break up between soul and physique, so the physique descends into the grave and the soul makes its personal course, constructive or adverse. The Wise Sirach within the Old Testament writes: “O loss of life, how bitter is the remembrance of thee to a person that liveth in peace along with his possessions” (Sirach 41:1).

If for the each day issues that torment us our Panagia is our comfort and our hope, for the concern of loss of life she turns into a vibrant beacon. It exhibits that in Christ loss of life has been defeated, it isn’t a journey to nothingness, as those that don’t imagine say, however an encounter with Christ and the saints, is a “wonderful repose”, for which the angels rejoice, since for many who imagine and dwell in Christ, it’s an encounter with Him, it’s a life past organic life.

And after the fifteenth of August, the celebration continues till the twenty third of August, after we solemnly have fun the apodosis of the feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos, and we nonetheless prolong it till the thirty first of August after we have fun the deposition of the Honorable Zoni of the Most Holy Theotokos, which is a reminder of her steady safety in our life.

Thus, from the Supplicatory Canons of the primary days of the Fifteenth of August, the place we categorical to the Panagia all our each day pains, but additionally on at present’s day of her wonderful Dormition, we study in observe that loss of life is satisfaction and pleasure, it’s a easy sleep, that’s, the night time’s sleep is just a little loss of life, and what we name loss of life is a good sleep till the day of the resurrection of the our bodies of all males. And we have fun this till the final day of August.

However, we should not overlook that on August sixth, the times main as much as it, and the times that comply with till August thirteenth, we have fun the good occasion of the Transfiguration of Christ and the Church exhibits us who defeated loss of life, sin and satan, who gave the Panagia this nice glory, who’s the supply of our life and salvation. This is Jesus Christ.

On the feast of the Transfiguration of Christ we see the aim of man’s existence, which is for man to go from “within the picture” to achieve “in response to the likeness”, we see the fantastic Light of Christ’s divinity, the glory of the Panagia and our deification. The face of Christ on Mount Tabor shone just like the solar and His garments turned white just like the Light, which exhibits that, after we unite with Christ, our entire existence shines and all of the senses change into white, light-bearing.

This implies that for the Church, the month of August, with the feast of the Transfiguration of Christ and the feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos, clearly exhibits the redemptive work of Christ, and the important providing to it of the Lady Theotokos. Christ and the Panagia are united and present the overcoming of sin and loss of life, the victory of everlasting life over the mortality and passions of man. Blessed is that this month, as a result of within the flame of Summer it exhibits us the recreation of everlasting life.

We perceive, due to this fact, that today are usually not solely supplied for a bodily relaxation, for a change of impressions and each day way of life, however they present the excessive function of the Christian life, the excessive which means of human life, that each one difficulties and temptations, illnesses and loss of life are overcome in Christ.

With this resurrection theology of the feasts, of the Transfiguration of Christ and the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos, which is our religion and our life, our hope and our endurance, I want you a few years and that you’ve non secular inspiration. We should dwell impressed far more than poets and artists dwell, we should be possessed by the inspiration of “the opposite life” and thus overcome the ache and concern of loss of life.

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