Dormition of the Mother of God

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Program: #05-08   Air Date: Feb 14, 2005

NOTE: All of the music on this program is from the recording made by the Choir of the Monks of Chevetogne directed by Fr. Maxime Gimenez. You may reach the Abbey at their web site:

The program is sponsored in part by the Belgian Tourist Office
and the Embassy of Belgium in Washington, D.C. For
more information on visiting Belgium (including the Abbey),
you may contact the Belgian Tourist Office at:

As Fr. Maxime writes in his notes, the veneration of the burial place of the Virgin dates back to the details given in the Protevangelium of James, a text from which much of what we identify with the birth of Christ also comes. Mary was said to have been buried by the apostles in the garden of Gethsemane--recently a 1st century AD church was found there by archaeologists--and the early Judeo-Christians, who remained separate from the orthodoxy of the Great Church, commemorated the spot each year. The Armenian lectionary (in the Jerusalem Codex 121) notes the burial of "Mary the Theotokos, two miles from Bethlehem." The later octagonal church dating from the 5th century has been verified at the site, and Nicephorus Callsitus notes both the presence of the church and the setting of the date at August 15th by the Emperor Maurice (582-602).

--Ringing of the Bells.
--Initial Benediction
--Stichera (Ps. 140).
--1st Sticheron: "O marvelous wonder! The source of life is laid in the tomb,
and the tomb itself becomes a ladder to heaven."
--Theotokion: "Lo, the Queen of all, the Maid of God, is nigh."
--Litiya (by Theophanes): "Come, O those who love to keep the feasts..."
--Aposticha: "Let us sing the praises of the pure & most holy Virgin..."
--Troparion: "In giving birth, O Theotokos, thou hast retained thy virginity..."

--"The Lord is God."
--Megalynarion: "We magnify thee O undefiled Mother of Christ..."
--Prokimenon: "I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations"
--Litany and Canticles--each section is answered with
"O most holy Birth-giver of God."
1. "Thy sacred and renowned memorial.
3. (No. 2 omitted): "O Christ, the Wisdom and the Power of God."
4. "The dark sayings and the riddles of the prophets foreshadowed
Thine incarnation from a Virgin..."
5. "I shall declare the divine and ineffable beauty..."
6. "The fire within the whale, the monster dwelling in the salt water
of the seas, was a prefiguring of thy three days' burial..."
7. "Divine Love, fighting against cruel wrath and fire...'
8. "The all-powerful Angel of God..."
9. "All generations call thee blessed..."
--Expostilarion: "O ye apostles, assembled here from the ends of the earth..."
--Lauds: "At thy deathless dormition, O Theotokos...clouds caught
the apostles up into the air..."
--Conclusion of the Service: "Save us, O most holy Birth-giver of God."

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