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#416018 08/15/16 01:13 PM
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What does it mean that the Theotokos "fell asleep in the Lord" on her Dormition? On "Light of the East" Catholic Radio, I heard that this meant that her soul did not leave her body when she died. Doesn't "to die" mean that the soul leaves the body? I always thought that her soul went to heaven when she died and was re-united with her body at her Assumption. After all, Jesus's soul left his body when he died (he descended into Hades) and was re-united with his body when he rose from the dead? Correct?

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As I understand the Assumption the church does NOT speak to whether or not Mary died. It is NOT anathema to believe that Mary did NOT die, but rather that she fell asleep and raised up WITHOUT dying; which is my belief. The church also ALLOWS one to believe that she DIED and then was assumed into heaven.

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Originally Posted by Dr. Henry P.
What does it mean that the Theotokos "fell asleep in the Lord" on her Dormition?
It means that Mary, the Mother of God, died. The word "dormition" comes from the French "dormire" which means "to sleep". It's a euphemism for "death". In Acts 7:59-60 when Stephen is stoned to death it is referred to as "he fell asleep".

There are accounts of her soul leaving her body as if a pure light, but there is no formal teaching of such.

Good reading: https://www.byzcath.org/index.php/faith-mainmenu-38/40/2546
and: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomb_of_the_Virgin_Mary

Maronita #416026 08/15/16 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Maronita
As I understand the Assumption the church does NOT speak to whether or not Mary died. It is NOT anathema to believe that Mary did NOT die, but rather that she fell asleep and raised up WITHOUT dying; which is my belief. The church also ALLOWS one to believe that she DIED and then was assumed into heaven.
It was the belief of the undivided Church that the Theotokos died, lay in the grave for three days, and was assumed into heaven bodily all in imitation of her Son. Even the Latins have a church in Jerusalem at the Theotokos's tomb. They even have a statue in the style of the Byzantine Dormition icon. It was until the Immaculate Conception was defined that speculation that she did not die started in contravention of 1800 years of tradition.


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Thanks for the information, Fr Deacon, and Cantor John smile


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