Let us keep watch with the Apostles upon the Virgin’s final mystery

ARISE, O Lord, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thine holiness.* [see below]

Thy priests shall clothe themselves with righteousness; and thy saints shall exult. For the sake of thy servant David turn not away the face of thine anointed.

The Lord sware in truth to David, and he will not annul it, saying, Of the fruit of thy body will I set a king upon thy throne.

If thy children will deep my covenant, and these my testimonies which I shall teach them, their children also shall sit upon thy throne for ever.

Psalm 131(132):8-12


Keeping watch on the Virgin’s final mystery: Offices of the Dormition, from the Church of the Transfiguration in Moschato, Athens.


IT was right for the eyewitnesses and serving men of the Word, and of his mother according to the flesh, to keep watch upon her Falling Asleep, being her final mystery, so that they might not only see the ascension of the Saviour from the earth, but also bear witness to the crossing-over of her that bare him.

Wherefore, carried across from every place by divine power, they light upon Sion, and send her forth who is above the Cherubim, urged on to heaven; whom we also venerate together with them, for she is an advocate for our souls’ sake.

At Vespers for August 22.


An icon of the Dormition of the Mother of God

An icon of the Dormition of the Mother of God. “Let eagerly perform, among the Bodiless powers, the funeral offices of her that bore the Maker of the creation.”


EARTH was blessed, O Virgin, by thy place of burial, and the air sanctified by thy strange journey on high, according to the law of a nature liable to death.

ARISE, O Lord, unto thy rest (Ps 131[132]:8).

WITH hymns do the godly Apostles send forth thy reverend body, which had held God, crying: Whither now dost thou depart, O Lady?

THE Lord hath sworn truth unto David (Ps 131[132]:11).

THY body was unapproachable to corruption, and it was given unto the grave, according to the law of nature, but it remained incorrupt.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
Both now and forever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

ALL we that are born of the earth, let us run together eagerly, to perform, among the Bodiless powers, the funeral offices of her that bore the Maker of the creation.

At Matins on August 22. These are my own non-expert translations. Source.

* “The ark of thine holiness” is the Ark of the Covenant, the heart of the Temple, in which were held the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments, and at which God came to meet his people (Exod 25:21-23). It is often seen in the liturgy as a type of Mary, who bore in herself Christ who is Emmanuel, “God-with-us”.


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