Here are our plans for learning during the Dormition Fast.
I have crafted a calendar in the style of Advent calendars. This Dormition calendar has the theme of “Flowers for the Theotokos”. On August 1st, the calendar will only have an icon of the Mother of God and a vine.
“O Theotokos, you are the true vine, that put forth the Fruit of life. We pray to you, O Lady, intercede together with the Apostles and all the saints, that mercy may be granted to our souls.”
Third Hour Prayers
Each day of the fast, we will read a selection from Scripture, the majority of which will trace the types of the Theotokos in the Old Testament. I know others, most notably Mary at Evlogia, have done this in the past, and I thank them for their inspiration! Rather than choosing a symbol from each reading this time around, we will just stick with offering a flower to the Theotokos each day. As the garden is filled, we’ll count down the days until the Feast of Dormition.
Dormition Fast Daily Readings
as suggested by the Orthodox Study Bible
(“Types of Mary in the Old Testament” p. 1228)
1) The Garden of Eden/the New Eve: Genesis 2:8-25
2) Jacob’s Ladder: Genesis 28:10-22
3) The Burning Bush: Exodus 3:1-14
4) The Jar of Manna: Exodus 16
5) The Ten Commandments: Exodus 20:1-17
6) The Ark of the Covenant: Exodus 25:10-22
7) The Tabernacle/the Holy of Holies: Exodus 26
8) Aaron’s Rod: Numbers 17:16-28
9) The Dewy Fleece: Numbers 6:36-40
10) The Tongs that held the Live Coal: Isaiah 6
11) The Gate Facing East: Ezekiel 43:1-5; 44:1-3
12) The Mountain from which comes the Stone Cut Without Hands: Daniel 2:24-35
13) The Fiery Furnace: Daniel 3:19-50
14) The Annunciation: Luke 1:26-38
15) Magnificat: Luke 1:39-56
The Dormition Calendar idea has lots of potential. Many different materials could be used to make your own calendar. Some of the above readings are long and not the kid-friendliest. Perhaps for the youngest crowd, you could tell the story verbally as they attach the flower each day. Older kids, however, could dig even deeper by exploring the hymnography to Mary, especially the Akathist Hymn and the Supplicatory Canon to the Mother of God (Paraclesis).
If you aren’t crafty or you just don’t have time to gather supplies, I am selling felt kits to make the Dormition Calendar for $7.50 plus $2.50 shipping and handling.
Included: background and vine material, pre-cut flowers, paper icon, buttons, and ribbon for hanging. All you have to add is glue and kids! Colors may vary from sample. You are welcome to choose a color scheme for your flowers. Choose from brights (as pictured in sample), primary colors, or your favorite color combo. Maybe Pinks & Yellows? Maybe White & Accents? Ask me!!!
I know it’s short notice, but e-mail me right away at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll ship ASAP.