Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Vigil of the Feast of the Dormition (Assumption of Mary)

In in the early Church, and still today in the East, the Feast of the Assumption is celebrated as the Feast of the Dormition, or The Falling Asleep of the Virgin Mother. This icon is a traditional pattern for the icon for this feast.
The Apostles gather around her, while, in heaven, Christ receives his mother into His arms. He holds her now as if she were a small child. 
Since icons are outside of time and several scenes may be shown together, the icon also shows not only all the apostles who were with her at her passing but also the image of St. Thomas who arrived late;  according to Tradition, the Virgin dropped her sash down to him a sign of her continuing presence.

Woodblock of the icon of the Dormition  from a book of meditations on the Rosary, 1521.