O what a blessed departure this going to God of thine. If God vouchsafes it to all His servants–and we know that He does – what an immense difference there is between His servants and His Mother. What, then, shall we call this mystery of thine? Death? Thy blessed soul is naturally parted from thy blissful and undefiled body, and the body is delivered to the grave, yet it does not endure in death, nor is it the prey of corruption. The body of her, whose virginity remained unspotted in child-birth, was preserved in its incorruption, and was taken to a better, diviner place, where death is not, but eternal life.
St John of Damascus
If, then, “death of the righteous man is honorable” (cf. Ps. 115:6) and the “memory of the just man is celebrated with songs of praise” (Prov. 10:7). How much more ought we to honor with great praises the memory of the holiest of the saints, she by whom all holiness is afforded to the saints, I mean the Ever-Virgin. Mother of God!
St Gregory Palamas
I will ask you today, Who is it Whose Dormition we are commemorating? I know that each, according to his zeal towards the Deceased, will answer with all kinds of laudatory words. Some may say, “The Mother of God has passed away to her Son and God” or, “The living heavens is ascending”; others will say, “The impassable gates are carried to the heavenly doors” or, “The Sun, in which the Most High has dwelt, is risen from the earth into heaven”; still others might say, “The most pure and most honorable Dwelling of God has been taken to churches not made by hands”. Everyone will say something laudative according to their piety. But I will address Our Supremely Pure Lady Theotokos and ask, “Who are You, lying here?” In response I hear a humble voice: “Here am I, the servant of the Lord!” (Luke 1:38) Now let everyone know that it is the Servant of the Lord Who has passed away and was laid in the tomb today. “Behold, I am the Servant of the Lord!” I will recall one more ancient saying, “Serving God means co-reigning with Him”. A true servant of God is at the same time the heir of the heavenly kingdom, co-reigning with Christ. Because the Most Pure Virgin is truly the Servant of the Lord, She must therefore be called the Queen of all visible and invisible creation.
St Dimitry of Rostov
What do we see today as we stand at the tomb of the Blessed Virgin? An extraordinary sight! The natural order of things, where the light and clarity are replaced behind the grave with darkness and uncertainty, is changed to quite the opposite; the high dignity and virtue, kept in deep mystery and obscurity before the grave is replaced thereafter by the light and glory. What a solemn reward to dignity and virtue!
St Philaret of Moscow
The Mother of God on the third day after her blessed Dormition was resurrected and now dwells in heaven with body and soul. Not only does She dwell in heaven, but She also reigns in heaven… The Holy Church sends her petitions to all the Angels, Archangels and all the greatest of God’s saints, saying to them, “Pray to God for us”. Meanwhile, she turns to the Mother of God with the words “Save us”.
St Ignatius (Brianchaninov)
Prepared by Reader John Malov