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#386726 10/01/12 01:22 PM
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Question: Was the phenomenon of the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary at one time more commonly referred to by the Orthodox Church as the "Assumption" (as it is in the Roman Catholic Church)?

The reason I ask is that I recently purchased a coffee table book about Orthodox churches in the midwest and in the book there are two churches called "Assumption". That surprised me. I naturally assumed (no pun intended) that Orthodox churches named in honor of that event would be called "Dormition".

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There is a very good chance that both churches were originally Greek Catholic, and used the Latin name, just as, e.g., there are several Ruthenian parishes called "Epiphany of Our Lord", whereas their Orthodox counterparts would call themselves "Theophany". The desire to conform to Latin norms was very strong at one point, as well as a desire to differentiate themselves from the Orthodox due to the bad blood of the two schisms over celibacy.

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In our area, we have a Serbian Orthodox Church of the Assumption. It have often wondered about it myself.

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In my opinion the people, who translated it, don't make the difference, that you make between "Assumption" and "Dormition" (or Epiphany and Theophany) in English, especially if those parishes were established by Eastern Europeans. In Bulgarian for example, the feast has the same name in both the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches, it's called "Uspenie" (which is properly translated as Dormition in English), but if you open a Bulgarian-English dictionary and try to find the translation of "Uspenie" in English, you would find "Assupmtion". That is why most churches even in Bulgaria dedicated to that feast, which have information signs or websites in English, use "Assumption".

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Slava Isusu Khrestu

We also have in our community a Ukrainian Orthodox church called " The Assumption of the Mother of God "
and the icon is of the Mother of God in the style of a very contemporary painting with her rising from the tomb.


KOlya

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It's a matter of how they decided to translate it in foundational documents. Sometimes they translate into the western term, given that Dormition is odd in English and probably wasn't in wide use prior to around 30-40 years ago.

FWIW, the Greek Cathedral in Denver CO is called "Assumption of the Theotokos" Cathedral and the bishop re-explained the difference to people the difference in his Vespers/Lamentations of the Dormition homily a few months ago. IIRC, he attributed the name simply to a choice in translation and didn't make any controversy out of it.

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Well, I know there are a bunch of Ukrainian Churches named Assumption BVM, including a UGCC Parish on the east side of town (I think in Solon, not sure). But there's another example of an Eastern Rite Church using Assumption in the name.

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There is a Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption in Seattle.

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SLava Isusu Khrestu

Many moons ago!!!!!! when I was in the old USSR, we we fortunate enough to get into Uspensky Cathedral ( slightly illegally and thank the Lord we we never caught ! Probably, to-day I'd be speaking better Russian than Ukrainian)the term "Assumption" was written on the tourist brochures and not "Dormition". And in Ukraine the term Dormition and Assumption were both used. If you use Google translate, you will find that both mean the same thing.

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Well, according to this YouTube video, and I'm guessing this is Fr. Loya's Parish:

http://youtu.be/H7uvSrhBAiI

As you can see in the description, it says it's the "Assumption of the Mother of God Parish." Now, I'm not sure why they didn't change it to the "Dormition of the Theotokos Parish" to conform to the proper Eastern translation, but either way, I'm pretty sure it would work.

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Given that Pokhrov is coming up, I should like to point out that right near my house is "Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos Romanian Orthodox Church (OCA)", but that all the signs telling you how to get there and where it is simply say "St. Mary's Orthodox Church". Brevity and clarity seem to have won out over terminological exactitude.


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