The Feast of the Dormition, or the death, resurrection and ascension of the Theotokos, the Mother of God and ever-Virgin Mary, is celebrated on August 15 and is preceded by a two-week fast from August 1 through the 14.
This feast is also called the Assumption. While the title Dormition refers to Mary’s death, the term of Assumption refers to her resurrection as she is assumed by God into the Heavenly Kingdom of Christ. The tradition of the Church is that Mary died as all people die, since she bore the same mortal body that every person has who comes into the world. The Orthodox Church teaches, however, that she had no personal sins, but that she needed to be saved by Christ as all human persons are saved from the trial, sufferings and death in this world; and that having truly died she was raised up by her Son as the Mother of Life. She participates in the ETERNAL LIFE OF PARADISE.
Blessing of Flowers
The events that surround the death of the Theotokos are handed down to us from the early church. We are told that when Mary “fell asleep in the Lord,” the Apostles placed her in a tomb. Thomas, not present for the burial, came later and asked to see Mary one last time. When the Apostles arrived at the tomb, they found flowers were present where she laid. As a reminder of this event, flowers are blessed on this day. The blessed flowers are seen now as a sign of God’s Presence in this world.