Updated: Aug 6
In the room a number of lamps could be seen burning. The Holy Apostles had gathered, giving praise to God. There, at the centre, lying on a beautifully adorned bed and preparing herself for the blessed end in this earthly life, was the Most Holy Theotokos.
She greeted each Apostle with a blessing and then stretched her hands to heaven and prayed, “I adore, praise and glorify Thy much to be praised name, O Lord, because Thou has looked upon the lowliness of Thine handmaiden, and because Thou that art mighty hast done great things for me; and behold, all generations shall call me blessed (Luke 1:48)”.
Following this prayer, the Theotokos instructed all present with her to pray and burn incense in preparation for the coming of Her Son and Lord.
A thunder from heaven was heard and the room filled with an ineffable light which dimmed the lit lamps. Many witnessed the roof of the room open, and the glory of the Lord descending from heaven, and with Him a multitude of Angels, Archangels, and Heavenly Powers! With them appeared the Prophets of the Old Testament including Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and David, the Theotokos’ Mother Anna and her cousin Elizabeth and choirs of Saints! All were singing praises and venerating the holy body of the Most Holy Mother of God.
As the Theotokos saw her Son approach, a beam of light came upon her, and she exclaimed with great joy, “My soul doth magnify the Lord and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour!" (Luke 1:46-47).
All the powers of the heavens fell down before Him. Christ said, “Mary”. And the Theotokos replied, “Here I am Lord”. She raised herself from her bed to worship the Lord and Christ looking at His Mother said, “Arise , come my beloved, My fair one, My dove (Song 2:10). Arise from the dead with authority, because Thou art My Mother.
Arise and come to My Kingdom, for Thou art the Queen of all. Arise to receive My divine glory, O My sweet Mother. Arise and come unto Me, My fair dove, for thou art escorted by My angelic hosts. Take up thy soul on thy virginal, incorrupt and divine body that thou may soar to the heights of heaven, and go through My spiritual hierarchies, and come unto Me, that thou might sit at My right hand, in order to enjoy the throne of thy Kingdom which is prepared for thee since the foundation of the world. Gird thyself with the glorious and gold-embroidered royal garment of thy virtues. Adorn thyself with the luminous glory of thy divine blessedness. Arise, come My beloved, My fair one, My dove; yea come” (Song 2:13)”.
At this, the Mother of God, bowed with reverence to her Son and said, “Blessed is Thy Name, O Lord of Glory and my God, Who was pleased to choose Thy handmaid for the service of Thy mystery. Remember me, O King of glory, in Thy eternal Kingdom. Thou knowest that I have loved Thee with all my heart and have kept the treasure entrusted to me. And now receive my soul in peace and defend me from all the snares of the dark power of satan." However, the Lord at this consoled His Mother who he said she had nothing to be afraid of, as she had already conquered satan through her holy humility, obedience to God and her way of life.
Mary then continued praying to her Son, with the boldness of a Mother, praying for the world. After blessing each Apostle she said, “O you Apostles assembled here from the ends of the earth, bury my body in Gethsemane: and Thou, O my Son and God, receive my spirit”.
Feeling indescribable joy at the sight of Her Son, she lay down on her bed and repeated the words, “Ready is my heart, O God, ready is my heart. Be it unto me according to Thy word”. Without feeling any pain, the Theotokos have up her soul and the Lord in His Holy and undefiled hands, received her holy and pure soul. Her face was said to shine like the sun, and her pure body emitted a sweet smelling fragrance. The Heavenly host of angels accompanied the holy soul of the Theotokos with triumphant hymns as she ascended with her Son to heaven.
When the Holy Apostles arrived to the tomb where the holy body of the Mother of God would lay, many Christians present were chanting and weeping. Bidding her farewell, each Apostle was inspired by the Holy Spirit to sing psalms and prayers in thanksgiving and praise. The stone of the tomb was eventually rolled, yet no one wished to leave. The Apostles stayed by the tomb of the Theotokos for 3 days, while they, together with the heavenly hosts in the sky, were continually chanting and praising the Lord and His Holy Mother.
To their utter amazement, upon opening the tomb 3 days after her burial, the Theotokos’ holy body could not be seen! It was revealed that her body had been taken up on a cloud and reunited with her soul in the heavens!
Source: The Life of the Virgin Mary the Theotokos written and compiled by Holy Apostles Convent, Buena Vista, Colorado
Published by Holy Apostles Convent and Dormition Skete , Buena Vista, Colorado, USA, 1989