About the Dormition of the Theotokos
The Feast of the Dormition is celebrated on August 15th. Commonly known as the Feast of the Assumption by the western church, the feast commemorates the falling asleep of the Mother of God. However, in the Byzantine tradition, we celebrate this feast as a feast of life, not death. We approach the feast as a celebration of the Theotokos as the true Mother of Life.
The Troparion refers to Mary saying:
You are the Mother of Life and have been transferred to life,
and through your prayers have delivered our souls from death.
In the feast, we recognize that the sacrifice and great gift of the Theotokos that brought about our salvation and reconciliation with God. In turn, she received the gift of resurrection and ascension at her death. In a true sense, she has again led the way for all of us who follow the Lord.
The Icon for this feast writes the elements of her passing. In it, we see the Apostles gathered together and surrounded by the Heavenly Hosts. Our focus is on Jesus who holds the soul of Mary in the form of a luminous child. Once again, Mary leads us as this clearly points the way of our final journey upon the path of life. It is the way of all who love and follow Christ.
As the Kontakion speaks to heart of the feast:
The grave and death did not detain the Mother of God.
She prays perpetually and is our unfailing hope of intercession.