Updated: Sep 22, 2020
On the Feast-day of the Dormition of the Most-Holy Theotokos, “Uspinnya.”
By the Grace of God, and through the intercessions of the Mother of God, I had the opportunity to visit and pray (and even celebrate) the Divine Liturgy on this Blessed Feast-day at the Ukrainian Orthodox Sobor Parish of the Protection of the Mother of God, in Winnipeg. This is the only Orthodox Church in Winnipeg which has the Mother of God as their feast / “saints’” day.
The Sobor parish re-opened on July 12, and this was the first time for me to visit since, and sincere gratitude to Fr. Alexander, the parish council, and all the volunteers who have made the re-opening physically possible.
In the tropar (main hymn of the feast-day), we sing / hear – “ … in your falling asleep you did not forsake the world, O Theotokos. You who are the Mother of Life were translated unto life, and by Your prayers You deliver our souls from death.”
At this time, and in this pandemic time that we are living in, and specifically as the summer draws to a close and schools are opening, the message of this feast-day is profoundly applicable to us all – the Mother of God in “falling asleep” is translated unto life and is our intercessor delivering us from that which we all fear the most, and certainly in this Coronavirus time, death itself.
May this feast-day, and may the blessing of the flowers, and herbs as the prayer suggests, instill in us all that we need to live our lives in a manner in which we are the bearers of light, hope, and faith to the those frightened and anxious around us. Most Holy Theotokos, Save us!
Fr. Taras, Chancellor, UOCC
Photos following are of the Feast-day Icon, the Divine Liturgy, preparation for and blessing of flowers and herbs, and having been blessed – going back out into the world; Fr. Alexander and altar servers, and “sestryci” who serve in the church, Irka and Oksana.