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August:the month of the Panagia


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#1 Alice

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 05:47 PM

Saturday, August 3, 2013

August: the Month of the Panagia - the Summer Pascha

 

summer+pascha.jpg

It's been said and written thousands of times that the feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos is called the "Pascha of the Summer" or "Summer Pascha". But why? Are there in fact similarities between this feast and what we celebrated a few months ago?
 
Pascha means (as we know) "to pass over". That is, it is a feast with an opportunity to renew our spiritual powers, in order to escape from the miserable and vile and resort to the joyful and optimistic, without this bringing social loafing, abandonment, fatalism and frustration. We are not the silly of society, but the hope-bearers of the Church.
 
What are the similarities between the two passages?

Both have similar fasting as a means of abstinence, and never as torture and an excuse to make Christians hungry. The measure we have with food is an occasion to put a measure, until annihilation, on our failures, our weaknesses, among which could be food as either quantity or quality.

 
Further, like Great Lent, there is a rich hymnography. The Supplication Canons, the Great and the Small, are not simply wonderful melodies with rich meaning, but a heartfeltand fully-fortified prayer of Christians, rticularly for those who have been beaten mercilessly and painfully by the waves of life.

The culmination of the period which commences on August 1st is August 15th. It is at that time when we will sing the Lamentations, like another Good Friday. It is the funeral lamentation to the Theotokos, by Her children, because it seems as if we are losing Her.

The Lord will prove everyone wrong, and at the same time bring great joy. He will receive Her soul and Her body will be assumed into heaven - according to Church teaching and writings. She is alive and intercedes for all of us.
 
In addition, the feast has an apodosis (leave-taking) - though it ends only after nine days. It is a day which is equal to the primary feastday, just as it occurs for the Resurrection of the Lord after 39 days.
 
There is also a contrast between the two feasts, the Pascha of the Spring and the Pascha of the Summer. In the first case there is a Marian feast which puts a break on the solemn period, the Annunciation to the Theotokos, while in the Pascha of the coming days there is the Despotic feast of the Transfiguration of the Savior, as a break for commemoration to show that the ultimate goal and purpose of life is the transfiguration of all, from the good to the better, and finally to the excellent, which is His Kingdom.
 
She is not our savior, for only Jesus saves. Indeed, She is the one who intercedes with prayers for our salvation. In the rich hymns of these days She has an important seat, which is proved by Her miracles which are another proof that She lives. Others will be found to worship Mary, misrepresenting Her to the point of Her being rejected.
 
She is not the end to our lives, but She practically helps us pass over to our desired salvation. She influences us with Her prayers to our Lord, in order for us to be forgiven and redeemed.

With Her Dormition She reminds us that when it appears an end awaits us, essentially we are experiencing a beginning, joyful and eternal.

A good August 15th to all!


 
Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos


#2 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 05:15 AM

Saturday, August 3, 2013


It's been said and written thousands of times that the feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos is called the "Pascha of the Summer" or "Summer Pascha". But why? Are there in fact similarities between this feast and what we celebrated a few months ago?
 
Pascha means (as we know) "to pass over". That is, it is a feast with an opportunity to renew our spiritual powers, in order to escape from the miserable and vile and resort to the joyful and optimistic, without this bringing social loafing, abandonment, fatalism and frustration. We are not the silly of society, but the hope-bearers of the Church.
 
What are the similarities between the two passages?

Both have similar fasting as a means of abstinence, and never as torture and an excuse to make Christians hungry. The measure we have with food is an occasion to put a measure, until annihilation, on our failures, our weaknesses, among which could be food as either quantity or quality.

 
Further, like Great Lent, there is a rich hymnography. The Supplication Canons, the Great and the Small, are not simply wonderful melodies with rich meaning, but a heartfeltand fully-fortified prayer of Christians, rticularly for those who have been beaten mercilessly and painfully by the waves of life.

The culmination of the period which commences on August 1st is August 15th. It is at that time when we will sing the Lamentations, like another Good Friday. It is the funeral lamentation to the Theotokos, by Her children, because it seems as if we are losing Her.

The Lord will prove everyone wrong, and at the same time bring great joy. He will receive Her soul and Her body will be assumed into heaven - according to Church teaching and writings. She is alive and intercedes for all of us.
 
In addition, the feast has an apodosis (leave-taking) - though it ends only after nine days. It is a day which is equal to the primary feastday, just as it occurs for the Resurrection of the Lord after 39 days.
 
There is also a contrast between the two feasts, the Pascha of the Spring and the Pascha of the Summer. In the first case there is a Marian feast which puts a break on the solemn period, the Annunciation to the Theotokos, while in the Pascha of the coming days there is the Despotic feast of the Transfiguration of the Savior, as a break for commemoration to show that the ultimate goal and purpose of life is the transfiguration of all, from the good to the better, and finally to the excellent, which is His Kingdom.
 
She is not our savior, for only Jesus saves. Indeed, She is the one who intercedes with prayers for our salvation. In the rich hymns of these days She has an important seat, which is proved by Her miracles which are another proof that She lives. Others will be found to worship Mary, misrepresenting Her to the point of Her being rejected.
 
She is not the end to our lives, but She practically helps us pass over to our desired salvation. She influences us with Her prayers to our Lord, in order for us to be forgiven and redeemed.

With Her Dormition She reminds us that when it appears an end awaits us, essentially we are experiencing a beginning, joyful and eternal.

A good August 15th to all!

 

The Assumption of the Theotokos is one of our most important feastdays. We fast from the 1st of August to the 15th of August. Each year we attend services at churches devoted to the Panayia. The people of Kozani go to the small church Panayia a couple of miles outside Kozani. This is the church my parents always attended on this day and it is the one my family also attend. Others go to the Monastery Mikrokastro (small castle). This monastery is beautiful (I have posted photos of it on this forum) but there are so many people on this day that it's difficult to even get into the church. A special feature is that all the riding clubs in the area - including that of Siatista - ride to Mikrokastro.

" August 15 - Assumption of Mary - The male (and female) inhabitants of Siatista parade with their horses down to a chapel in the plain and return with the icon of the Panagia. In the feast and party that ensues the men dance on the backs of their horses. The local wine flows freely, even for their equine friends.'

The Pontioi in Greece visit the church of Panayia Soumela built in the forests of Mount Vermon between Kozani and Veroia. The icon of Panayia Soumela was buried by the monks of the original Soumela monastery in Turkey when the Pontioi were forced to leave Turkey and relocate to Greece. A few years later a monk went back and retrieved the icon. My husband and I visit this church once a year.



#3 Alice

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 02:06 PM

Thank you for sharing that dear Effie! I wish you and your family a most blessed Panaghia Fast! Indeed, I remember the crowds in Greece on the feast of the Dormition...Here is something very beautiful from the Metropolitan of Kastoria:

 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Our Mom



 


mom.jpg


By His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim of Kastoria
 

As of today we find ourselves once again to be in the month of August. This is the last month of our ecclesiastical year, since from the 1st of September, the beginning of the Indiction, a new ecclesiastical year begins.

 

Since the glorious years of Byzantium, this month has been dedicated to the Honorable Cross, hence on the 1st of August we celebrate the Procession of the Honorable Cross. The Honorable Cross, the Honorable Wood, exited the Sacred Palace where it was kept and it arrived at the Great Church from were for fifteen consecutive days it was brought throughout the entire City for the sanctification of the faithful.

 

All these days there are held various Sacred Services and Vigils, as well as the Service of the Sanctification of the Holy Water, "baptizing the Honorable Wood in the sacred water", in order for the people to be protected from infectious diseases and epidemics which favor the heatwave of August.


Even the fast is dedicated to the Honorable Cross. Coupled with the prayers of our Orthodox Church, it is a ladder of communication with God and seeking divine mercy. "Heavenly gifts are received with fasting, vigils and prayer." These are the methods always used by our Church, and today in particular we need to use them in order to protect ourselves from demonic influence, but also as a measure by which we can capture the grace of God.


However, the Honorable Cross was stolen by the Crusaders, like so many other relics, and brought to the West. For this reason the litany of the Honorable Cross stopped, and this month was then dedicated to the person of the Panagia, from the 1st of August to almost the 31st of August, since we celebrate the eminent Marian feast of the Dormition on the 15th of this month.

 

Hence, the person of the Panagia monopolizes the thoughts of all Orthodox who could be found in all the corners of the earth this month.


The mom of the world celebrates.


The mom who understands, who listens and who rapidly obeys, like the Gorgoypikoos (She Who is Quick to Hear) as she named herself at Docheiariou Monastery on the Holy Mountain.


The mom who covers her children, who wipes the tears of tragedy and suffering.

 

The mom who calms the hearts from the storms of life, and who pacifies the mind, as Saint Theodore the Studite will write and chant.

 

The mom who as soon as one stands opposite her icon she fills with joy, which is why they chant together with the sacred hymnographer: "In hymns we thank, glorify and praise your immeasurable mercy and great strength, confessing to all."


The mom who is the protector of all Christians. "The protection of Christians, Virgin Mother of the Lord."


To our mom.


To the mom of the world we leave our hope and our endurance always, especially in these difficult days our homeland is going through.


To our mom we open our heart, as the Venerable Sophia of Kleisoura would say.

 

We supplicate to the Panagia with the sacred troparia of our Church, as Elder Paisios advised, with the purpose of guiding us to her Son and our God.


The Panagia is supplicated today by persons whom we do not give any importance to repeating daily thousands of times the archangelic greeting of "Rejoice, Theotokos and Virgin".


Along with the entire choir of Saints in the Kingdom of Heaven, together with those also who live today in the trenches of life and with the prayers of those who support the world, we also send her our supplications:


For our Church,

 

For our nation,

 

For the ill who suffer,

 

For our needy brethren,

 

For those battered by the scourges of our times,


For the blood being spilled in Syria, Egypt, and in other countries,

 

For every human soul which is to be found with every need.

 

May the Panagia speak to the hearts of the powerful of the earth.

 

May she speak to all of our hearts.

 

May she teach us humility in order to find our lost self.

 

May she help us to regain again that which we lost, that is, our sustenance together with our life-providing and life-bearing Tradition.

 

My Panagia, my joy, my consolation, my hope, my breath, save us from every circumstance.

 
Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos


#4 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 05:07 PM

Lovely. Thanks Alice.

#5 Nina

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 12:55 AM

Dear Alice and Effie,

 

Thank you. You reminded me of my Grandparents and their relatives talking to each other thus: "Pascha? Which Pascha do you mean? The Great Pascha, The Little Pascha, or the Pascha of August?" :) And because it was communism I had no idea what these abstract words meant :) Glory to God I do now. Thank you for the wonderful memories.



#6 Angie

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Posted 16 August 2015 - 11:46 AM

Would anybody know how old was Panagia when she fell asleep?

 

I get different ages.



#7 Lakis Papas

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Posted 16 August 2015 - 06:37 PM

Would anybody know how old was Panagia when she fell asleep?

 

I get different ages.

 

 
Our Lady was engaged to Joseph at the age of 15. At age 16 Mary gave birth to Jesus.
 
33 years later, Christ was crucified.
 
She lived after the Ascension of the Lord for 10 years and at the age of 59 she fell asleep.


#8 Angie

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 01:18 AM

Thank you






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