Feast of the Dormition of the Holy Theotokos at the Los Angeles Chancery Chapel of the Holy Dormition - 08/15/2005Los Angeles, California
The Dormition of the Most-Holy Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary is celebrated by Orthodox Christians worldwide on August 15. Naturally, His Grace, Bishop JOSEPH also took part in this commemoration, but perhaps this year’s celebration was the most special of all. For the first time, Sayidna presided over the festal Orthros and Divine Liturgy in his Chancery in Holy Dormition Chapel. The sacred place prepared for his daily prayer and services could now host the celebration of the feast for which is it named.
A solemn yet uplifting morning of services touched the small gathering at this historic occasion. Father Paul Doyle, Protosyngellos of the Antiochian Archdiocese and Dean Emeritus of the Southern California Deanery, celebrated both services. He was assisted by Archdeacon George Shishim of St. Nicholas Cathedral in Los Angeles. The entire chapel, including Bishop JOSEPH, formed the heavenly choir that seemed to be uplifted by the very clouds that carried the Apostles to the Holy Virgin, as she lay ready to leave this life for the eternal one. The Virgin had one last wish to God Almighty, before her soul was carried to heaven by her Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ: that all the Apostles, ministering throughout the world, be gathered to be with her during her last moments on earth.
His Grace thanked the clergy and laity in attendance for this special day, and treated them to a sumptuous brunch in his dining room to break the fast.
By Subdeacon Peter Samore