Feast of the Dormition and Assumption of the Holy Mother of God.

On August 12th we will celebrate the blessed feast of the Dormition and Assumption of the ASDVADSADZIN, the Mother of God, and the blessing of the grapes. THEOTOKOS . This is a Greek word that carries the greatest theological and confessional weight that any “church” word can carry in the context of the particular theology of the Orthodox family of churches. The equivalent Armenian word, ASDVADSADSIN pronounced asd-vadz—a—dzin means like the Greek, “Birth giver of God” or “God Bearer.” This word is not jargonistic or “theologeze.” It is neither a metaphor nor is it a simile. It is quite simply a very true and precise name for who we Orthodox Christians believe and confess St. Mary to be—simply, the Mother of God.

The impact of this “confession” is realized in who we understand Jesus, “the fruit of her womb,” to be. He is none other than the “Only- begotten God.” He is God in the flesh, not partly, not symbolically, not as a “holy man” or “God inspired teacher,” but truly the One and Only, Second Divine Person of the Holy Trinity and Son of God the Father, who’s “divinity has no beginning and who’s humanity has no end.” Calling St. Mary the “God Bearer” eliminates any and all confusion about who she gave birth to. She gave birth to GOD! Therefore, all generations will call her “blessed among women” and the Icon of perfect Motherhood.

As Christ is therefore the first fruit of the resurrection and the fruit of Mary’s womb, the Grapes, the first fruits of the yearly

harvest, are blessed on this occasion where the coincidence of the Feast falls in the middle of August where in Armenia the harvest of grapes is unprecedented and without equal.

It is very appropriate to greet all those who bear the name of Mary or any derivative of it with the phrase “ANUNOVUT APRISS” or may you live with your name.

o Holy God Bearer and Mother of God, St. Mary our immaculate Mother,intercede with your most precious Son, our Lord and our redeemer that He might deliver us from every evil and temptation and in His divine mercy grant us pardon for our many sins, through the grace of his sufferings and passion, and keep us under the protection of His Holy Cross in Peace, Amen.

Prayerfully,

Fr. Shnork Souin

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Fr. Shnork Souin

Priest of the Armenian Orthodox Church

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