Embracing of the Theotokos

Monk Moses the Athonite

The commemoration of the Dormition of the Theotokos is approaching again. All believers are preparing to celebrate this great feast of the Mother of God.

The commemoration is holy, wonderful, gorgeous and moving. It is a wonderful celebration, glorified, splendid and loved by the people. The faithful rejoice, however, that it is about the falling asleep of the Theotokos, about the moving of the loved One. They rejoice because their protector, the Mother of God and of men, ascends to Heaven to pray unceasingly for all suffering humanity.

The composition seems contradictory. Joy at the funeral service? It is about sorrow giving joy and sorrow mingled with sorrow, terms used in ascetic and nyptic literature. Songs of mourning become joyful. The funeral turns into a celebration. At first glance it seems strange, but if you go deeper, you will notice that it is divine energy, a wonderful event. The Son of the Most Holy Theotokos and ever Virgin Mary conquered death by His death. The tears of mourning, sadness and sorrow turned into tears of joy, rejoicing, delight and hope.

The Most Holy Theotokos encourages her friends, gives them beautiful thoughts, optimistic thinking, sweet comfort. The Mother of God moves to a better, higher, more beautiful life.
It was impossible for the dark hell to shut up in its dungeons the Most Pure Mother of Emmanuel, the One who gave birth to Christ, the Giver of light, the Sun of Righteousness, and the Morning Light. Thus, Her death became a source of life and light. The faithful, reverently worshiping the miracle-working Icons of the Theotokos, receive grace and joy, courage and relief, strengthening and strength. The tears of believers spring from the heart; they are sweet tears, of joy, of thanksgiving and gratitude, of consolation and fervent prayer.

Our people love the Most Holy Theotokos very much. Sad exceptions exist everywhere and always will. Humble and blessed worshipers of the icons of the Mother of God lay before them their pain, problems, requests and hardships. The Sorrowful Theotokos receives them all, listens to them, comforts them, wipes away their sweat and tears, embraces them, and strengthens them. The Most Holy One has suffered a lot and knows how to sympathize, to run to help, to pray incessantly. Monasteries, churches, chapels, places of worship remind of her grace. Innumerable are the offerings of requests and rich are the gifts of thanksgiving. The Icons are soaked with the tears of pious worshippers. Sometimes the intercessor of all believers herself sheds tears from the icon. Each of its Icons has a special history and a
characteristic name.

The face of the Most Holy Theotokos is always dignified, serious, silent, quiet and pious. But She also speaks like this, through Her abundant grace, through Her purity, through her humility. In Her sanctified face She hides a wonderful ethos. She gives joy without laughing and joking, She preaches without words but through Her living example, She teaches through Her beautiful life itself. She gives what She has: love, patience, obedience and kindness. It seems to the believer that the icon tells something personal. It feels that forgotten innocence, childlike simplicity, patience in suffering leaps within it. Another way of life, which fed many generations during the great hardships: on today’s feast, may the Theotokos embrace all Her worshippers, so that they do not become exhausted and despair.

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