The Feast of the Assumption of Virgin Mary
August 28 and 29 2021
It is a very old Armenian Jerusalemite tradition to walk on the Eve of the Feast as a pilgrimage, from the Armenian Convent of St. James to the Tomb of Virgin Mary on the Mount of Olives.
Early this morning , when it was still dark, a group of clergy and faithful walked from the Armenian Monastery of St. James all the way to Virgin Mary’s tomb. Having arrived, they burnt candles and prayed, and participated in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy.
Candles are often lit on sides of the stairs going down to the shrine, illuminating the Church and highlighting the holiness of the place.
Since early times Virgin Mary has a special role, chosen by God for her purity and faith to be the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ. Trusting God completely, she agreed to become the mother of the Messiah.
From the Gospel of John we understand that Jesus Christ trusts St. John to care for His mother.
The book of Acts 1:13-14 tells us that Virgin Mary played an essential role in the Early Church in Jerusalem.
According to early Christian tradition, the apostles buried Virgin Mary after she passed away. The Apostle St. Barthlomew though did not reach Jerusalem in time to attend the funeral. When he finally arrived, they opened the tomb of Virgin Mary- but her body was not there anymore.
The Early Church understood that Virgin Mary was not dead, but asleep. For three days and nights singing choirs of angels could be heard. Tradition tells us that Christ Himself took His mother, Virgin Mary into heaven.
The Church itself was built around the grave, when St. Helena, the mother of St. Constantine the Great came to the Holy Land.
We hold reverence for Virgin Mary and beseech her intersession on behalf of us.
“It becomes you to think of us, as you stand near Him, the One Who granted you all graces, for you are the Mother of God and our Queen. Help us for the sake of the King, the Lord God Master Who was born from you”.
We cordially invite you to join us in the celebration of the Feast of the Assumption of Virgin Mary
on Saturday August 28 and Sunday August 29, according to the following schedule:
Saturday August 28, 2019 Eve of the Feast
16.00 pm the bells of Sts. James Cathedral are rung
16.30 pm arrival at the Church of Virgin Mary
17.00 pm evening service
19.00 pm dinner
20.00 pm evening prayers
23.00 pm return to Sts. James Armenian Convent
Sunday August 29, 2019 Feast of the Assumption of Virgin Mary
8.45 am the bells of Sts. James Cathedral are rung
9.00 am departure from St. James Armenian Convent
9.30 am Episcopal Divine Liturgy and Blessings of the corners of the world in front of the Tomb
13.00 pm return to Sts. James Armenian Convent