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Author Topic: Dormition of our Holy Theotokos...  (Read 3077 times) Average Rating: 0
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ignatius
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« on: March 26, 2007, 10:39:07 PM »

Can someone walk me through this Orthodox Teaching?

This might also touch on the Annunciation as well because they are all tied together in teaching us about the Holy Theotokos.

I see in the Icon of The Dormition of our Holy Theotokos a little 'infant' in our Lord's arms which I am told represents the 'reborn' Blessed Virgin...? Is this suggesting 'reincarnation'?

Thanks.
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« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2007, 12:13:44 PM »

It represents the soul of the Theotokos being taken by her Son, Our Lord and Savior.  While she was an adult in our Life she is but a small child in the eternal perspective of things. As we know after her dormition, Holy Traditions states that her body was resurrected like that of her son. At that time her soul would be reunited with her  resurrected body as our soul will be reunited with our resurrected bodies at the end of time. It does not mean reincarnation.

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« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2007, 12:27:45 PM »

It represents the soul of the Theotokos being taken by her Son, Our Lord and Savior.  While she was an adult in our Life she is but a small child in the eternal perspective of things. As we know after her dormition, Holy Traditions states that her body was resurrected like that of her son at that timne her sould would be reunited with her  resurrected body as our soul will be reunited with our resurrected bodies at the end of time. It does not mean reincarnation.

Thomas

Thanks Thomas!

I do remember reading the resurrection of Mary 'Bodily'... for she could not suffer corruption.

So Mary and Jesus are the only two who currently enjoy 'bodily' resurrection. Correct?
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« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2007, 12:32:29 PM »

That is  my understanding at present, somebody on the board may know of others.

Thomas
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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2007, 06:02:41 PM »

Here's a good article on this: http://www.stmaryscopticorthodox.ca/articles/assumption.pdf
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« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2007, 09:47:41 PM »

I'm curious from whence this belief originated.  Is this something that's been passed down over the generations?  I don't want proof necessarily, I just want to understand.
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« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2008, 12:33:56 PM »

Quote
So Mary and Jesus are the only two who currently enjoy 'bodily' resurrection. Correct?
You must also consider the Old Testament saints resurrected at the death of Christ (read Matthew 27:51-54)
The fact that these saints were not seen around for long to witness they were resurrected by Christ, we must admit they all ascended to heaven after walking around the holy city of Jerusalem.
Anyway, we could say that our Saviour and the Mother of God are the only ones who were resurrected to eternal life before the corruption of their bodies could occur.

In Christ,     Alex
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« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2008, 11:49:22 PM »

Enoch and Elijah?
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« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2008, 12:08:01 AM »

^ Neither Holy Man experienced death.
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« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2008, 01:51:31 AM »

I'm curious from whence this belief originated.  Is this something that's been passed down over the generations?  I don't want proof necessarily, I just want to understand.

You'll find the answer in the liturgical text of the Vigil service for the Dormition. This feast would date back to at least the 8th century, given that the Canons sung at Matins were written by Sts Kosmas of Maiuma and John of Damascus. The liturgical texts of the Orthodox Church are the core and essence of the Church's teachings for any particular feast. They represent the consensus patrum of the Church.

http://www.anastasis.org.uk/15aug.htm
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« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2008, 04:41:56 AM »

Quote
Enoch and Elijah?
I think the Bible tells us they didn't even experience death, as it seems they were both brought up to the heavens directly. Maybe God would have resurrected them, but as the Resurrection (not just being brought back to life like Lazarus, but a resurrection of eternal life) had not yet come through Christ, God had to bring them back when they were still alive. My personal opinion, though; it'd be interesting to know what the Fathers thought about this (if they dealt with matter).

In Christ,    Alex
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« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2008, 11:46:48 AM »

Enoch and Elijah?
The interesting thing about them is that Elijah was present at the Transfiguration, but not Enoch. Instead, Moses--who died--was present, and had a glorified body just like Elijah's. It seems that glorification is not dependent on death, but that all can be resurrected.
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« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2008, 02:04:10 PM »

Quote
Instead, Moses--who died--was present, and had a glorified body just like Elijah's.
Well, I think the question seems not so plain. Look at the Epistle of Jude, verses 9 and 10.

Quote
Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.
(I'm using the KJV here)
The quotation is from the apocryphal book "Ascension of Moses" and it seems that Jude truly believed that Michael claimed the body of Moses for him (to be brought to the heavens?).
I'm not sure, of course, but the question I think should remain open.

In Christ,    Alex
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« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2008, 02:55:58 PM »

You must also consider the Old Testament saints resurrected at the death of Christ (read Matthew 27:51-54)
The fact that these saints were not seen around for long to witness they were resurrected by Christ, we must admit they all ascended to heaven after walking around the holy city of Jerusalem.

Why? St. Lazarus died again, and will rise again.
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« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2008, 02:58:25 PM »

You'll find the answer in the liturgical text of the Vigil service for the Dormition. This feast would date back to at least the 8th century, given that the Canons sung at Matins were written by Sts Kosmas of Maiuma and John of Damascus. The liturgical texts of the Orthodox Church are the core and essence of the Church's teachings for any particular feast. They represent the consensus patrum of the Church.

http://www.anastasis.org.uk/15aug.htm

It was the tradition of Jerusalem.  It became known when the Emperor and Empress sent to have the body of the Theotokos brought from her tomb in Jerusalem at the council of Chalcedon, and the Patriarch of Jerusalem explained to them that she was not there, she had been raised.
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« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2008, 03:00:46 PM »

I think the Bible tells us they didn't even experience death, as it seems they were both brought up to the heavens directly. Maybe God would have resurrected them, but as the Resurrection (not just being brought back to life like Lazarus, but a resurrection of eternal life) had not yet come through Christ, God had to bring them back when they were still alive. My personal opinion, though; it'd be interesting to know what the Fathers thought about this (if they dealt with matter).

In Christ,    Alex

The Fathers identify them with the Two Witnesses who will be martyred and raised at the End Times (Revelation 11).
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« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2008, 03:08:56 PM »

The fact that these saints were not seen around for long to witness they were resurrected by Christ, we must admit they all ascended to heaven after walking around the holy city of Jerusalem.
Actually, your argument from silence proves nothing.  Since the Bible says absolutely nothing about what ultimately happened to these holy persons who were raised from the dead by Christ's crucifixion, all we can safely admit is that we don't know what happened to them.  Your belief that they all ascended to heaven is pure speculation.
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« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2008, 03:51:06 PM »

Quote
Why? St. Lazarus died again, and will rise again.
Well, let's imagine the situation.
Christ dies, and the same time an unknown number of people all around Jerusalem suddenly resurrect and get out of their tombs. People in Jerusalem witness their presence.
Now, that's imagine they were truly  resurrected like Lazarus, i.e. only to remain on Earth and die again. If these people were dead and resurrected, their presence in Jerusalem would have been a public miracle including too many people to be denied! Everyone would have attested that these crowd of people was dead and was now living again... that would have been a public manifestation of Christ power who would have embarassed even the authorities... they would have publicly witnessed they were resurrected by God because of the Messiah!
Now, on the contrary, let's take another solution. Those who have been resurrected walk in the city of Jerusalem; they then ascend to heaven and disappear. I can imagine the authorities just talking of "collective imagination" or something like that. Moreover, not everybody would have recognized a dead person revived (I suppose I would recognize my relatives or friends, but if a resurrected person had a fully-restored body he would have been as fit as a fiddle and an unknown person would have passed in vain under my eyes).

I repeat it's only a supposition, and my very-very-very personal understanding of the passage, strictly based on reasoning; and as far as I know this has already been affirmed by other exegetes.

Anyway, I'm not trying to prove anything, dear PeterTheAleut. I only think it's a reasonable possibility. And I told this only to underline how the Dormition (and "Assumption") of the Holy Theotokos has to been understood just as an award for her specific role in Salvation, and also as a promise and figure of the future resurrection of the Christian saints; and not as the RCs state, saying that it is only because of her Immaculate Conception that she was elevated to heaven "at the end of her earthly life".

In Christ,    Alex
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« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2008, 04:35:41 PM »

Well, let's imagine the situation.
Christ dies, and the same time an unknown number of people all around Jerusalem suddenly resurrect and get out of their tombs. People in Jerusalem witness their presence.
Now, that's imagine they were truly  resurrected like Lazarus, i.e. only to remain on Earth and die again. If these people were dead and resurrected, their presence in Jerusalem would have been a public miracle including too many people to be denied! Everyone would have attested that these crowd of people was dead and was now living again... that would have been a public manifestation of Christ power who would have embarassed even the authorities... they would have publicly witnessed they were resurrected by God because of the Messiah!
Now, on the contrary, let's take another solution. Those who have been resurrected walk in the city of Jerusalem; they then ascend to heaven and disappear. I can imagine the authorities just talking of "collective imagination" or something like that. Moreover, not everybody would have recognized a dead person revived (I suppose I would recognize my relatives or friends, but if a resurrected person had a fully-restored body he would have been as fit as a fiddle and an unknown person would have passed in vain under my eyes).

I repeat it's only a supposition, and my very-very-very personal understanding of the passage, strictly based on reasoning; and as far as I know this has already been affirmed by other exegetes.

Anyway, I'm not trying to prove anything, dear PeterTheAleut. I only think it's a reasonable possibility. And I told this only to underline how the Dormition (and "Assumption") of the Holy Theotokos has to been understood just as an award for her specific role in Salvation, and also as a promise and figure of the future resurrection of the Christian saints; and not as the RCs state, saying that it is only because of her Immaculate Conception that she was elevated to heaven "at the end of her earthly life".

In Christ,    Alex
Fair enough. Wink
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