SUNDAY, AUGUST 1: It’s the Procession of the Cross today, as Orthodox Christians mark the first of 14 days in the Dormition Fast. In a little more than two weeks, on Aug. 15, the faithful will mark the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God—or the “falling asleep” or “death” of the Mother of God. (Wikipedia has details.) And just as Orthodox Christians fast before Pascha (Easter) and the Nativity (Christmas), they also fast in preparation for the Dormition of the Theotokos. During these two weeks, devotees will steer clear of red meat, poultry, meat products, dairy products, fish, oil and wine.
By giving birth to Jesus, Mary was bestowed with the highest honor of any in the history of humanity. Mary is regarded as the Queen of all saints and angels; one whom is addressed when sickness and danger are present. Get a full summary and additional resource pages courtesy of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. Orthodox theologian Fr. Sergei Bulgakov once noted that the “warm veneration of the Theotokos is the soul of Orthodox piety.”
(By ReadTheSpirit columnist Stephanie Fenton)
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