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Author Topic: The assumption of the Blessed Virgin vs. The Dormition/falling asleep of Mary  (Read 2258 times) Average Rating: 0
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Vlad
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« on: November 12, 2008, 07:48:38 PM »

What are the major differences in these two. Do Catholics and Orthodox believe the same or are their major differnces?
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« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2008, 07:51:58 PM »

As I understand it they are separate events. The Dormition is the earthly death of the Theotokos. The Assumption is her being taken up to heaven afterward. Orthodoxy teaches both, while Roman Catholics will usually say only the latter is true and the Theotokos never died.
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« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2008, 12:22:47 AM »

As I understand it they are separate events. The Dormition is the earthly death of the Theotokos. The Assumption is her being taken up to heaven afterward. Orthodoxy teaches both, while Roman Catholics will usually say only the latter is true and the Theotokos never died.

44. For which reason, after we have poured forth prayers of supplication again and again to God, and have invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, for the glory of Almighty God who has lavished his special affection upon the Virgin Mary, for the honor of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages and the Victor over sin and death, for the increase of the glory of that same august Mother, and for the joy and exultation of the entire Church; by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.

Source

Pretty much the Orthodox Church commemorates the falling asleep of the Theotokos, while the Roman Catholic Church leaves it up to you to determine what the bolded statement means (perished or did not).
« Last Edit: November 13, 2008, 12:24:20 AM by Friul » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2008, 02:46:20 AM »

It is worth remembering the great difference between the Orthodox iconographic portrayal of the Dormition, and western religious art depicting the Assumption. In the former, the Mother of God is always shown in repose on her deathbed, surrounded by apostles, saints and angels, with Christ Himself taking her soul in his arms. Western paintings, while not icons as such, to be sure, never show the scene of repose, but always show the Virgin escorted by cherubs to heaven.

The liturgical text of the Vigil of the Dormition is full of references to her earthly, bodily death. It would be interesting to compare this with the equivalent liturgical texts of the Roman Catholic church.

Some excerpts from this feast:

Matins, ode 1: Knowing you, All-blameless, to be a mortal woman, but beyond nature Mother of God, with fearful hands the illustrious Apostles touched you, as you blazed with glory, gazing on you as the Tabernacle that had received God.

Pure Virgin, sprung from mortal loins, your final departure was in conformity with nature; but, as you gave birth to the true Life, you have passed over to the one who is the divine life in person.

Ode 6: Life dawned from you without loosing the keys of your virginity. How then has your spotless tabernacle, source of life, become a partaker in the experience of death?

Once the sacred enclosure of life, you have found eternal life; for through death you, who gave birth to Life in person, have passed over to life.

The Synaxarion entry:

When Christ our God was well pleased to take to himself His own Mother, three days before He told her through an Angel of her translation from the earth. It is the moment, He said, to take My Mother to Myself. Do not then be any way troubled by this, but accept My word with joy, for you are coming to immortal life. And she, in her longing for her translation to her Son, went up the mount of Olives with haste to pray (for it was her custom to go up there to pray). Then there took place a marvel; for the plants on the mount bowed themselves down of their own accord and like living slaves accomplished fitting reverence to their Lady. After her prayer she returned home and at once the whole house was shaken. She prepared many lights and having given thanks to God she invited her relatives and neighbours. She swept the house and prepared the couch and everything needed for the burial. She explained everything which had been told her by the Angel about her translation to heaven and as confirmation of her words showed the reward that had been given her, which was a palm branch [from Paradise]. But the women who had been summoned on hearing this poured out lamentations and tears and lamented with cries of grief. When they ceased their lament they begged her not to leave them orphans. She assured them that when she had passed over she would watch over and protect not only them but the whole world. Much of their grief was assuaged by these words of consolation which she spoke to the bystanders. Then she gave instructions about her two tunics, that the two poor widows who were customarily with her and known to her and who received from her what was required for their nourishment should take one each.

While she was detailing and arranging this, there suddenly came the sound of mighty thunder and the arrival of many clouds from the ends of the earth bringing Christ’s disciples together to the house of God’s Mother. Among them also were the Hierarchs, wise in God, Denys the Areopagite, Hierotheos and Timothy. When they learned the reason of their presence together they spoke to her as follows: While we saw you, Lady, remaining in the world, like our Master and Teacher Himself, we were comforted; but how shall we now bear the suffering? But since by the wish of your Son and God you are passing over to the regions beyond the world, we rejoice for the things that have been so disposed for you. As they said this they wept profusely. But she answered them: Friends and Disciples of my Son and God, do not turn my joy to sorrow, but bury my body just as I have arranged it on the bed.

When these things had been completed, Paul the inspired vessel of election arrived. He fell at the feet of God’s Mother, worshipped and opening his mouth uttered a great eulogy of her, saying: Hail, Mother of life and subject of my preaching. For though I never saw Christ, in seeing you I seem to see him. Then the Virgin took leave of all. She lay down on the bed and arranged her all-pure body as she wished. She prayed for the conservation of the world and for peaceful life. She filled them too with blessing through her, and so committed her spirit into the hands of her own Son and God.

At this Peter began the funeral hymns. The rest of the Apostles took up the bier and accompanied the body that had received God to the grave, some going in front with lamps and hymns, others following behind. At this the rulers of the Jews stirring up some of the crowd persuaded them to try to upset the bier on which the life-giving body had been placed and to throw it to the ground. But already punishment came upon those who dared such things, and they were all smitten with blindness. One of them, who attempting even greater folly had touched the sacred bier, was deprived of both his insolent hands. They were severed by the sword of punishment and left hanging from the bier. He remained a pitiable sight until, after he had come to belief with his whole heart and found healing, he was restored to health as before. So too part of the covering of the bier, when placed on those who had been blinded and come to belief, gave them healing. When the Apostles reached Gethsemane they laid the live-giving body in the grave and remained there for three days responding to the unceasing voices of the Angels.

But when, by divine dispensation, one of the Apostles [Thomas], who had been absent from the burial of the life-giving body, arrived on the third day, he was greatly grieved and distressed that he had not been found worthy of what they had. All his fellow Apostles, who had been found worthy, by a common vote opened the tomb for the sake of the Apostle who had been absent, so it seemed good to all, for him also to venerate that all-blameless body. When they looked they were amazed. For they found it empty of the holy body, and containing only the winding sheet, which remained as a consolation for those who were about to grieve and for all the faithful, and as a sure witness of the Translation. For even until today the tomb hewn from the rock is visible and venerated, and remains empty of a body, to the glory and honour of our most blessed Lady, Mother of God and ever-virgin Mary.


The Exaposteilarion of the feast of the Dormition is particularly moving when sung slowly and reverently:

O you Apostles, assembled here from the ends of the earth, bury my body in Gethsemane; and You, my Son, receive my spirit.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2008, 02:58:21 AM by LBK » Logged
Vlad
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« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2008, 04:17:30 AM »

So in other words the OC believe that the Virgin Mary died and her soul was carried to heaven by her son? And Catholics believe that she was taken up to heaven before she died. I had always thought that (as an RC mind you) the Mother of God died and her body was carried to heaven by cherubs and angels.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2008, 04:21:00 AM by Vlad » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2008, 07:05:17 AM »

Pope John Paul II gave a series of Catecheses on Mary which has been published as THEOTOKOS A Catechesis on Mary Mother of God under the heading "Mary and the Human Drama of Death" he wrote-

http://www.miraclerosarymission.org/970702.htm

Some theologians have in fact maintained that the Blessed Virgin did not die and was immediately raised from earthly life to heavenly glory. However, this opinion was unknown until the 17th century, whereas a common tradition actually exists which sees Mary's death as her entry into heavenly glory.

2. Could Mary of Nazareth have experienced the drama of death in her own flesh? Reflecting on Mary's destiny and her relationship with her divine Son, it seems legitimate to answer in the affirmative: since Christ died, it would be difficult to maintain the contrary for his Mother.

The Fathers of the Church, who had no doubts in this regard, reasoned along these lines. One need only quote St Jacob of Sarug (†521), who wrote that when the time came for Mary "to walk on the way of all generations", the way, that is, of death, "the group of the Twelve Apostles" gathered to bury "the virginal body of the Blessed One" (Discourse on the burial of the Holy Mother of God, 87-99 in C. Vona, Lateranum 19 [1953], 188). St Modestus of Jerusalem (†634), after a lengthy discussion of "the most blessed dormition of the most glorious Mother of God", ends his eulogy by exalting the miraculous intervention of Christ who "raised her from the tomb", to take her up with him in glory (Enc. in dormitionem Deiparae semperque Virginis Mariae, nn. 7 and 14: PG 86 bis, 3293; 3311). St John Damascene (†704) for his part asks: "Why is it that she who in giving birth surpassed all the limits of nature should now bend to its laws, and her immaculate body be subjected to death?". And he answers: "To be clothed in immortality, it is of course necessary that the mortal part be shed, since even the master of nature did not refuse the experience of death. Indeed, he died according to the flesh and by dying destroyed death; on corruption he bestowed incorruption and made death the source of resurrection" (Panegyric on the Dormition of the Mother of God, n. 10: SC 80, 107).

3. It is true that in Revelation death is presented as a punishment for sin. However, the fact that the Church proclaims Mary free from original sin by a unique divine privilege does not lead to the conclusion that she also received physical immortality. The Mother is not superior to the Son who underwent death, giving it a new meaning and changing it into a means of salvation.

Involved in Christ's redemptive work and associated in his saving sacrifice, Mary was able to share in his suffering and death for the sake of humanity's Redemption. What Severus of Antioch says about Christ also applies to her: "Without a preliminary death, how could the Resurrection have taken place?" (Antijulianistica, Beirut 1931, 194f.). To share in Christ's Resurrection, Mary had first to share in his death.

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« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2008, 09:54:14 AM »

So in other words the OC believe that the Virgin Mary died and her soul was carried to heaven by her son? And Catholics believe that she was taken up to heaven before she died. I had always thought that (as an RC mind you) the Mother of God died and her body was carried to heaven by cherubs and angels.

Not quite... St. Mary died and was buried (dormition), later at the assumption:


http://stmaryscopticorthodox.ca/content/articles/basics/assumption.

"after He said these words upon the tomb of stone, that tomb opened at that
very moment.  It had been closed as was Noah's Ark which nobody could
open save God who had previously closed it.  Soon after that, the venerable
Virgin's body rose, embraced her soul, like two brothers coming from foreign
countries, they were united and became one.  At that moment, David the
psalmist coming nigh unto them, made the strings of his harp quiver saying,
"Mercy and truth are met together, righteousness and peace have kissed each
other.""
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« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2008, 12:57:05 PM »

Incidentally Dormition is a Latin word not a Greek one.

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« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2008, 01:05:13 PM »

Incidentally Dormition is a Latin word not a Greek one.



So? The Greek equivalent is Koimisis, the Slavonic Ouspenie. It's not the language used that matters, but the meaning of the word.
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« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2008, 12:21:49 AM »

The Greek equivalent is Koimisis...
From which we get the root for the word "cemetery"?


From "cemetery." Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. 15 Nov. 2008. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/cemetery>

Origin:
1375–1425; late ME < LL coemētērium < Gk koimēterion a sleeping place, equiv. to koimē- (var. s. of koimân to put to sleep) + -tērion suffix of locality
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