The Dormition of the Virgin

Prayers, hymns and devotion in recent days along the streets of the Old City of Jerusalem… where one could see the traditional procession for the Feast of the “Dormition of Mary” (as the Eastern Christians call it), that is, the feast of the Assumption celebrated by the Orthodox Churches – according to the Julian calendar – almost two weeks after the Catholic one.On August 27, a crowd of people, led by the Greek Orthodox Patriarch, processed with the icon of the “Sleeping Virgin,” from the seat of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem towards Gethsemane.  They arrived at the church where the Tomb of the Blessed Virgin is venerated, and which is recognized by an authoritative tradition as the place where Mary was assumed into heaven.Here, the shroud of the Most Holy Mother of God is placed under a beautiful cover adorned with fragrant flowers.On the last day of the feast, there is another solemn procession, a return trip with the holy shroud, again towards the Greek Orthodox patriarchate.It is mainly the local Christians who participate in this Marian feast. They gather with sincere faith around the One whom they consider their fellow citizen, the “Ierosolimitissa” as they call her, who according to an ancient tradition of the holy city, was born and died here in Jerusalem.