Today is the Dormition of the Virgin Mary and the last major feast of the Orthodox church calendar.
In birth, you preserved your virginity; in death, you did not abandon the world, O Theotokos.
As mother of life, you departed to the source of life, delivering our souls from death by your intercessions.
Apolytikion for the Dormition
The church calendar is cyclical, as any calendar, but ours begins in September with the Nativity (Birth) of the Theotokos and ends with her Dormition. Tradition teaches that three days after she died her body went into heaven and she didn't have to wait for the Second Coming.
And here we are at the end of summer, waiting to start a new school year, a new church year and new beginning. It's time for us to take a moment and reflect on our spiritual progress. Have we been faithful to the teachings of the Orthodox faith? Have we lived a life that reflects Christ? Would we be guilty of being Christians if proof were shown?
Our New Year is coming September 1st. It's time to start thinking about our New Year Resolutions. While the earth is preparing for its dormition, let us focus on how we are going to express and reveal the life of Christ in our daily living. Will we be more devoted to prayer, fasting and almsgiving?
I hope that you find hope and encouragement in the new year and that it offers you and your family all that your hearts desire.
On the theme of Dormition, I find it even more interesting that the Church uses the dormant season to celebrate the Virgin's life into the world, when spring would have physically made more sense... but it is in our death to the world that we find life.