Friday, August 7, 2015


Holy Tradition tells us that all the Apostles, with the exception of St. Thomas, were transported mystically to Jerusalem in order to be with the Mother of God – the Theotokos – as she reposed, and to be present at her burial. When the Apostle Thomas arrived the next day, the Apostles opened the tomb so that he could kiss her farewell. As the tomb was opened, the body of the Most Pure Virgin was missing, and the cave was filled with flowers and the sweet fragrance of Paradise. This was a sure sign of her great purity and holiness to the faithful.
Therefore as part of our celebration of Dormition we bless flowers and fragrant herbs – and the faithful traditionally keep them in their homes. The herbs, used as natural medicine, are blessed in commemoration of the numerous healings and the extraordinary grace bestowed on the pilgrims at the blessed tomb of the Mother of God. During times of family strife or illness, it is a pious custom to place the flower petals in the house censer, together with the incense, and cense the whole house with it.
Lord Jesus Christ, our God, You admired the lilies of the fields and asked us to imitate them by putting aside worldly cares and depending on your Divine Providence. We ask you to bless these flowers which were offered in honor of your All-holy Mother, the Ever-virgin Mary, on the occasion of her passing to the heavenly glory.

Accept, O Lord, these flowers as a sweet fragrance. Fill the hearts of those who offered them and those who will receive them with love for You and for your Holy Mother who is also the heavenly Mother of us all. And through her intercession, make us worthy to cast off the old man and put on the new man created in your Likeness. For You are the source of all holiness, O Christ God, and to You we render glory and to your Eternal Father and your All-Holy, Good and Life-giving Spirit, now and always and forever and ever. Amen

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