Dear friends, dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

I congratulate you on the great feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos!

This is the day our people love especially. From time immemorial, our main temples and monasteries were consecrated precisely in honour of this magnificent event. All three of our Lavras are the Dormition Lavras, the oldest of which is Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. The mistress of this place is the God’s Mother. According to the legend, She herself asked for it from Her Son and God for Her own inheritance. The Mother of God is our common Heavenly patroness. Our model, our joy, protection and consolation.

We, ordinary sinful people, so much want to live according to understandable rules, according to verified algorithms and plans, when everything seems extremely clear, when it is not dangerous, and not scary.

However, if one person or all of humanity is faced with an action of the plan of God Himself, our “sophisticated” constructions immediately begin to look like funny children’s crib notes, like drawings in the sand, which are easily erased by the wave of the surf.

Confused by such a change, some people loose balance and fall, and others find an opportunity revealed in the new reality, revealed to them or to the whole people, or even to all humankind. An opportunity to go forward, grow and develop in accordance with God’s Providence.

Today we solemnly glorify the Blessed Virgin Mary. She served this Divine Plan with all Her powers, with Her entire arduous life.

Having humbly accepted God’s will for herself, She did not hesitate for a moment more, did not stray from Her great and formidable destiny – to be the Mother of God.

The Dormition is the name we use for the glorious end of Her mournful earthly journey full of apostolic labours. According to the legend, the Most Pure Virgin fell asleep peacefully and calmly in front of the Disciples of Christ who came at Her prayerful call. The Lord Himself descended to earth to receive Her soul, and soon took Her holy body to heaven – the Divine Son raised His Mother so that She would reign with Him in eternity. Soon the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to the apostles with the words: “Rejoice, I will be with you always.”

This is the event we remember and brightly celebrate on this day.

At the call of the Queen of Heaven, let us also rejoice, asking for Her help and prayers for us before God.

We will also try, with all our might, to reconcile our plans and hopes with God’s Providence for us, for our land, which, according to many holy fathers, is under the Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God, for our blessed people, passionately loving their Heavenly Patroness.

Happy Dormition Day! Happy Easter to the Most Holy Theotokos!