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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center

Great Feast of the Dormition of The Theotokos Cycle Celebration - The Blessing of Flowers

 

Cycle Preparing
Dormition
Preparing
Fasting
Dormition
Preparating
Praying
Feast
Procession
Holy Cross
Feast
Transfiguration
Feast
Dormition
Feast
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Flowers
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Dormition

 

15 August - Great Feast of the Dormition of The Theotokos celebrates the wondrous way in which Theotokos' left this earthly life and was taken into heaven in a miraculous way: both body and soul. Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ received her soul and body into heaven. The Theotokos left behind an empty tomb filled with the fragrance of flowers.

The Blessing of Fowers Prayer

In the Eparchy of Newton (Our Lady of the Annunciation (Al Bisharah) in Roslindale, MA), Roslindale, Massachusetts, United States, there are two Blessing of Fowers prayers. The reason is that The Blessing of Flowers is a recent innovation, which has no official character. The then Eparch, Bishop / Sayedna John Elya requested two groups who were working independently to compose a Blessing of Fowers Prayer.

Blessing of Fowers Prayer in the August Menaion

This Blessing of Fowers text is from August Menaion published by the Eparchy of Newton (Our Lady of the Annunciation (Al Bisharah) in Roslindale, MA), Roslindale, Massachusetts, United States. These books are available from Sophia Press, Eparchy of Newton (Our Lady of the Annunciation (Al Bisharah) in Roslindale, Massachusetts, United States).

Priest: Let us pray to the Lord.

Response: Lord, have mercy.

Lord God almighty, You fill all things with Your Word. You commanded the earth to bring forth fruit in due season, and You gave it to mankind for our joy and life. By Your Holy Spirit, bless + now these flowers which have been brought before You in this holy temple to honor the Falling Asleep of the Mother of Your only Son. Purify from all defilement these, Your servants, who receive them, and fill their houses with all fragrance. May all who receive these flowers obtain protection of body and soul; and may Your healing grace be a remedy for our salvation.
-For all glory, honor and worship are Your due, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and always and for ever and ever.
R. Amen.
These flowers are blessed and sanctified by the descent of the all-holy Spirit and the sprinkling of holy water, in the name of the Father + and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
R. Amen.

Blessing of Fowers Prayer by Abouna Alam Alam

In 1998, this Blessing of Fowers text was created by Abouna Alam Alam at the request of Sayedna John Elya of the the Eparchy of Newton (Our Lady of the Annunciation (Al Bisharah) in Roslindale, MA), Roslindale, Massachusetts, United States. Sayedna John Elya approved this Blessing of Fowers.
The reason was that at that time, the series of the Menaion Books was not published yet. The Eparchy of Newtonhad no blessing of flowers for the feast of the Dormition. Meanwhile, the editors of the Menaion carried another form, which is the prayer above.

Deacon: let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord have mercy.

Priest:Lord Jesus Christ, our God, You admired the lilies of the fields and asked us to imitate them by putting aside worldly cares and depending on your Divine Providence. We ask you to bless these flowers which were offered in honor of your All-holy Mother, the Ever-virgin Mary, on the occasion of her passing to the heavenly glory.
Accept, O Lord, these flowers as a sweet fragrance. Fill the hearts of those who offered them and those who will receive them with love for You and for your Holy Mother who is also the heavenly Mother of us all. And through her intercession, make us worthy to cast off the old man and put on the new man created in your Likeness.
For You are the source of all holiness, O Christ God, and to You we render glory and to your Eternal Father and your All-Holy, Good and Life-giving Spirit, now and always and forever and ever.

When are the Flowers Blessed

At the end of the Divine Liturgy, red, sweet-smelling flowers are blessed by the priest. Then, these flowers are distributed to the people to take home. The flowers are blessed and distributed in remembrance of the sweet-smelling flowers found in the empty tomb when the Apostles took Holy and Glorious Apostle Thomas there to say farewell to The Theotokos.

Why are the Flowers Blessed

Holy Tradition tells us that all the Apostles, except Holy and Glorious Apostle Thomas, were transported mystically to Jerusalem in order to be with The Theotokos as she died and present at her burial. When Holy and Glorious Apostle Thomas arrived the next day, they opened the tomb so that he could say his farewell. They found only an empty tomb filled with sweet-smelling flowers. We bless sweet-smelling flowers in remembrance of this great sign of her holiness.

The Type of Flower to be Blessed

The custom is that the flowers are red, sweet-smelling flowers.

Where are the Flowers Placed

The custom is that the flowers are placed around the ikon of the Dormition of The Theotokos. Some times the flowers are made into a round wreath. Some times the flowers are made into a rectangular border for the ikon. Some times the flowers are placed into vases. Sometimes the flowers are placed below the ikon of the Dormition of The Theotokos in vases.

Who Provides the Flowers

Sometimes, the parish provides the flowers. Sometimes, the people provide the flowers for their families.

The Flowers are Taken Home

The custom is that the flowers are taken home by the people to remember the sweet-smelling flowers found in the empty tomb when the Apostles took Holy and Glorious Apostle Thomas there to say farewell to The Theotokos.

.

Melkite Tradition

The Blessing of Flowers does not belong to our Melkite tradition. However, the Eparch of Newton approved The Blessing of Flowers in the United States.
The Blessing of Flowers is a recent innovation, which has no official character.
The Blessing of flowers is unofficial because the Arabic Version of the Divine Litugies, Tome I, approved by our Melkite Synod and published in 2006, does not include it.


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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center
Martha Liles
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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center is dedicated to my cousins: Bucky (Richard C. Liles) and Shirley (Shirley Jean Liles Buck). Bucky fell asleep in the Lord on Dec. 12, 2000 and Shirley fell asleep in the Lord on Nov. 8, 2001.
O God of all spirits and of all flesh, who have destroyed death, overcome the devil, and given life to the world: grant, O Lord, to the souls of your servants Bucky and Shirley, who has departed from this life, that it may rest in a place of light, in a place of happiness, in a place of peace, where there is no pain, no grief, no sighing. And since You are a gracious God and the Lover of Mankind, forgive him/her every sin he/she has committed by thought, or word, or deed, for there is not a man who lives and does not sin : You alone are without sin, your righteousness is everlasting, and your word is true. You are the Resurrection and the Life, and the repose of your departed servants Bucky and Shirley. O Christ our God, and we send up glory to You, together with your eternal Father and your all-holy, good and life-givng Spirit, now and always and for ages upon ages. Amen.

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Last Updated: Monday, February 20, 2017, 16:14:58, CST
The current date and time is: Thursday, March 23, 2017, 15:16:48, CDT or Thursday, March 23, 2017, 20:16:48, GMT