11 August 2007

Preparing for the Upcoming Feast

On Wednesday, the Church celebrates with great joy and solemnity the Feast of the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary (also known as the Feast of the Assumption).

In preparation for this grand feast, the Church prescribes the discipline of fasting for her faithful. Among Eastern Christians, this fast has been in effect since the beginning of the month. Among Western Christians, the fast is on Tuesday and consists of both a fast (one full meal that day) plus abstinence (no flesh meat).

Fasting, of course, should always be accompanied by prayer and meditation. To aid your meditation for the feast, I commend to you three sermons on the Dormition by St John of Damascus. For your convenience, they may be accessed here.

NOTE: The photo is of the final home and shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary near Ephesus, Turkey.

1 comment:

Sch├╝tz said...

Fr Fenton,

I visited the "House of Mary" (pictured) last April. A pleasant enough spot, but quite spurious in its authenticity. I know that that isn't important in the spiritual sense, but the odd thing is that there are other better attested holy places nearby (eg. the tomb of St John) and wondered why this place got so much attention.

What's the position of your Church on where married fell asleep/was assumed? I assume (if you forgive the pun) from your blog that you accept both the dormition and the assumption?

What are the differences between Orthodox and Catholic teaching on this?