Sunday, August 15, 2010

Do souls grow bigger in heaven?

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Behold Mary, fallen asleep, in the crypt of the Dormition Abbey.
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Today, at the Dormition and at many other churches in Jerusalem and around the world, Christians celebrated the Feast of the Assumption of Mary.
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You are welcome to see the ceremony in progress as I photographed it in 2007.
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In another earlier post, I was amazed by a strange old icon of Jesus holding a tiny little Mary. You might enjoy the unraveling of the mystery.
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UPDATE: Blogger Malyss just taught me how they celebrate the day in Nice, with boats full of flowers carrying the statue of Mary!
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17 comments:

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Enjoyed following the links; especially little Mary. Presbyterians aren't big on symbolism so this sort of thing always intrigues me

GreensboroDailyPhoto said...

I love the icon of the small Mary. The illumination of the church, the organ playing. Magical!

Reader Wil said...

What a beautiful post! And how could I have missed the two posts you refer to about the Assumption of Mary! I didn't know about this festivity before, so now I learnt something new. You know a lot about religions in general.Thanks for your comment.
"De geest overwint"= "The Spirit wins".In German "Der Geist ├╝berwindet"

VP said...

I always thought that a 'dormition' church was a bit strange. Thanks for the links.

Kay said...

That was interesting about growing souls. I didn't think our souls had physical sizes. I guess it's supposed to be symbolic, perhaps?

Dina said...

PA, yeah, I know. Same with me.
I think the Christian Orthodox are really on to something with their icons.

Greensboro Jan, let's face it, Church is high drama.

Wil, thank you. I know, the Assumption was new to me too just a few years ago. There is a saying, "Let Jerusalem teach you." I do.

VP, true. Don't fall asleep during the sermon. ;)
Actually I think the Benedictines now officially call their place Hagia Maria Sion Abbey. But we the people still know it as the Dormition.
Once I saw a free tourist brochure about the place. It said Mary had gone into a COMA there!
No doubt it was translated from the Hebrew "tardema" by a Jew not familiar with the Christian way of saying "falling asleep in the Lord" (i.e. to die). Oi

Dina said...

Kay, yeah, sure, symbolic. But even as symbolic, my reaction to the idea was "Oh wow!" I read it somewhere on the Web. I think it is not like official Orthodox church dogma, just a private person's way of explaining why Jesus is pictured holding what looks like a baby.

Pietro said...

Hi Dina! With joy I keep on thinking that deep down you do love Jesus and in your way you believe in Him.
Happy new week

Dina said...

Pietro, give me a break! I hate to disappoint you, but you are totally wrong about this. Give up.

Jew Wishes said...

What a stunning photo.

Does the Soul Survive, by Jewish author, Elie Kaplan Spitz is an excellent read on this subject.

Hilda said...

This is the first time I've seen a statue of Mary in repose. Very interesting.

Pietro said...

Ok Dina, let's change the subject!
Have a nice Monday!

Kate said...

I had forgotten about this particular day...enjoyed the links as well.

Dina said...

Jew Wishes, thanks for the recommendation. I probably should read more Jewish books about such things.

Hilda, it is the only Mary in repose that I know, too. It would be interesting to research whether other churches named Dormition around the world have such a Mary.

Pietro, good idea! :)

Kate, yes, Assumption is not on many calendars.

Francisca said...

Interesting post with comments, Dina... this one and the previous ones you linked I visited. And a beautiful photograph. I kind of hope our souls do get bigger in the here-after, as at times I feel we are all pretty small on this earth.

Suzanne said...

Dormition Abbey, next best thing to heaven.

Malyss said...

To say the true, it's not in FRance, but only in NICe! :)
thank you for linking, Dina, I saw your nice comment only today!