St. Maximus on the Dormition of the Theotokos

St. Maximus the Confessor ca. 580-662

As her giving birth was without corruption, so her death also took place without corruption. As her giving birth was beyond words and nature, so her Dormition took place in a manner beyond the temporal and natural order. And she was wondrous, because as her soul ascended to heaven without her body, so her body also without her soul, so that she showed to her Son and His servants both communion and separation. She ascended to Heaven by the grace and assistance of her Son before the general resurrection to draw our attention to the coming resurrection. She was assumed completely, but first her holy soul separately, when she gave it over to the Lord, and then the immaculate body, as the Lord willed. Thus we confess the human beauty that the desirable one possessed, and the glorious grace with which her Son glorified her. So this feast is revered and wonderful in every way, revered by angels and human beings and adorned by the grace of the Holy Theotokos. And the time of this glorious feast also is good and blessed, full of all fruit: the harvest is complete, the vintage is matured, the fruits of the trees and every sort of produce are spread forth. And this honor is a also a glorification of our nature by the Creator and a remembrance of the delights of Paradise, and all this is given for the honor of the holy feast and for the delight of those who glorify her. And this time of the year is good and beneficial for humankind and full of benefits and delights.

Now our nature had been raised to heaven by the ascension and translation of the Holy Virgin, as before by the Ascension of her Son. She has become more exalted than the Thrones, Cherubim and Seraphim, for truly she has become more exalted and glorious than all the other bodiless and immaterial creatures, the blessed mother of our Savior Christ God, clothed in royal splendor, praised and venerated by the powers and dominions and every name that has been named, not only those in this world but those in the world to come, which are invisible and unknown to us. I have said what is more brilliant and useful for us than all the rest. (The Life of the Virgin, 127-128)

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