Deans' Note August 14, 2022

During these weeks of summer, the liturgical cycle is typically simpler and focuses on the sequential reading of the Gospel stories of Jesus' mission in the world, this year from the Gospel of Luke. In August we punctuate the season with a Sunday especially celebrating Mary, the holy Mother of God, or Theotokos, her title in Greek, the language of the early church.

On this day we celebrate Mary's entrance into the fullness of life, in the Orthodox church called the dormition, or "falling asleep" of Mary, also known as the assumption. This day not only celebrates the joys of Mary, but is a day when we too look forward to the day we enter larger life, the resurrection of our bodies, and the coming of the fullness of the new creation. Mary points the way to the joy we all will experience. A thoughtful reflection from the Orthodox Church in America notes:

"What happens to Mary happens to all who imitate her holy life of humility, obedience, and love. With her all people will be “blessed” to be “more honorable than the cherubim and beyond compare more glorious than the seraphim” if they follow her example. All will have Christ born in them by the Holy Spirit. All will become temples of the living God. All will share in the eternal life of His Kingdom who live the life that Mary lived."

Similarly, we pray the collect appointed for this day in the Episcopal Church:

O God, you have taken to yourself the blessed Virgin Mary,

mother of your incarnate Son: Grant that we, who have been

redeemed by his blood, may share with her the glory of your

eternal kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives

and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God,

now and for ever. Amen.