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Ninjaly Awesome
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« on: August 12, 2011, 11:34:19 AM »

Why is it that fruits and flowers are blessed during the dormition fast? A coworker asked me this and I couldn't come up with an answer for it.
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« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2011, 12:12:54 PM »

Why is it that fruits and flowers are blessed during the dormition fast? A coworker asked me this and I couldn't come up with an answer for it.

Several things are blessed throughout the year on certain feasts--

Water, houses, chalk at Theophany/Epiphany
Fruit at Transfiguration
Seeds and herbs at Dormition
Candles on Feb. 2 for the Presentation of the Lord
Throats on Feb. 3 for St. Blaise
Wheat berries at memorial services
Breat, wine and oil, at lityas
Cheese, eggs, and fleshmeats on Pascha
Flowers, basil, etc. at other times

This is due to 1. the desire to offer things to God (quintessentially the bread and wine of the Eucharist), 2. the seasons of the Church year together with the seasons of the agricultural year--since most people in early times were deeply involved in agriculture, and 3. symbolism and fasting/feasting.

We offer things to God out of thanksgiving and receive them back with a blessing for our sanctification.
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« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2011, 12:17:56 PM »

IIRC, flowers are blessed for the Dormition in memory of the story that when the Apostles opened the tomb of the Blessed Moether so Thomas (aka St. Johnny-Come-Lately) could venerate her body, all they found were flowers.
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« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2011, 04:49:13 PM »

The first fruits are blessed during the Feast of the transfiguration which generally coincides withthe fruit being belssed reaching peak harvest. It represents new birth and transfiguration from seed to productive fruit a spitual story point not missed by our agricultural forefathers.

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« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2011, 04:56:32 PM »

Herbs and seeds on Dormition - because Dormition marks the end of the harvest.

Fruits on Transfiguration - because most of the fruits ripen then.
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