On August 28, 2021, the feast of the Dormition of Our Most Holy Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia officiated the Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow. At the end of the Liturgy, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church addressed the faithful with a speech, in which he congratulated those present on the feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos, which is often called Pascha of the summer by the people.
“This is no coincidence, because the Dormition has a very special value and a great salvific meaning for each of us. In the event of the Dormition, the Mother of God showed Her involvement in two worlds. On the one hand, Her involvement in the physical world, because She died, is a fact, and therefore the disciples of the Savior gathered around Her tomb. But, on the other hand, when on the third day the disciples went to Gethsemane and opened the tomb cave in which the body of the Virgin Mary lay, they did not find Her body, which means that the event of the death of the Mother of God was not only physical, but, as the philosophers would say, metaphysical. That is, one that does not obey the laws of nature and belongs not so much to the physical world, but to the spiritual world,” His Holiness Patriarch Kirill stressed.
“The example of the Blessed Virgin Mary is, of course, unattainable, but nevertheless connected with all of us through the involvement of the Mother of God in the human race. It should be a kind of a guiding star for each of us. And in order for us to rationally understand what this star means, the apostle [Paul] tells us in simple words: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 2: 5-11) In other words, by our will, by our faith, by our convictions, we must banish everything that contradicts this mind of the Savior from our life, everything that destroys this mind, everything that appears in our life through our personal sin,” Patriarch Kirill noted.
“Today is a great feast day. We glorify the More honorable than the Cherubim, and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim – the Virgin of Nazareth, Who acquired this mind, Who rose above all creation by the power of Her personal spiritual deed and Her holiness. And since the Virgin Mary is one of us – after all, She did not descend from Heaven, She was born from parents in a natural way, She lived, perhaps She was also subjected to temptations, but dismissed these temptations, She also faced joys, and sorrows, and the terrible tragedy of watching Her Son, brutally killed and mocked by the crowd – we must have the same mind that was also in Christ Jesus. And the Holy Theotokos was of this mind in full. That is why we bow our knees before Her images, that is why we pray to Her especially, because She is one of us. She walked the marvelous path of ascent to Heaven, which is closed and impossible for us, of course, in the form and in the way that she made it, because of our sins. But the example of the Mother of God gives us the hope that through repentance, through prayer, through sincere faith, through the performance of good deeds, we will be able to humbly walk the path that leads us to the Heavenly Divine Kingdom,” the Patriarch said.
“Such is the meaning and such is the value of today’s wonderful feast day. Once again I want to say, as people call this day – Pascha of the summer. Because the Virgin Mary truly came out of the grave cave and was taken with Her body into the Kingdom of Heaven by the power of Her Divine Son.
“May the Protection of the Most Pure, Most Blessed Theotokos be over all of us. May the Virgin Mary, Most Pure and Most Blessed, protect our Fatherland, from external and internal enemies. May the Most Pure Theotokos help us preserve the unity of the Orthodox Churches, today torn apart by the forces of evil. And we know what is happening today in Orthodoxy, how these forces, using the difficult situation that has developed in Ukraine, are trying to break the unity of the Orthodox Church and succeed in something – an example of this is the sinful and inexplicable visit of the Patriarch of Constantinople to Kiev and his concelebration with the schismatics. This event testifies to us of the difficult path that the Church of Christ is following. But we believe that, despite divisions and schisms, by the grace of God the Church will be preserved and will bring her faithful children to the end of history. And in this hope for the unshakable power of the grace living in the Church, lives our hope for the ability in our personal life to overcome sin and unrighteousness and strive for the salvation given to us in Jesus Christ, Who came into the world through His Most Pure Mother of God, whose glorious Dormition we solemnly glorify. Amen,” concluded His Holiness Patriarch Kirill.