Dormition vs Assumption of St. Mary

I don’t know what the difference is between these two concepts.

I always thought “Assumption” was a more Western Christian terminology while “Dormition” was more Eastern Christian terminology…but my local Episcopalian church just had a celebratory Mass for her Dormition.

Isn’t it the same thing? The words themselves mean two different things, but the celebration is for either term means the same…right?

I don’t know what the difference is between these two concepts… I always thought “Assumption” was a more Western Christian terminology while “Dormition” was more Eastern Christian terminology…but my local Episcopalian church just had a celebratory Mass for her Dormition. Isn’t it the same thing? The words themselves mean two different things, but the celebration is for either term means the same…right?

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They both closely relate to one another. And some Christian groups place a different focus in their celebrations…

Assumption is Mary Being Assumed/Taken up into Heaven after her Dormition

(in the Orthodox Church) Dormition is the passing of the Virgin Mary from earthly life.

The feast held in honor of Dormition on August 15, corresponds to the Assumption in the Western Church.

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Episcopalians also have female “priests” so i dont put much stock in what they do as being right. Not that there is a wright vs wrong thing going on wrt Assumption vs Dormition just different tradition.

This article was on the main page and may be interesting read.

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Within Anglican doctrine, the Assumption of Mary is either rejected, or regarded as adiaphora; it therefore disappeared from Anglican worship in 1549, partially returning in some branches of Anglicanism during the 20th century under different names. A Marian feast on 15 August is celebrated by the Church of England as a non specific feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a feast called by the Scottish Episcopal Church simply “Mary the Virgin”, and in the US it is observed as the feast of “Saint Mary the Virgin: Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ”, while other Anglican provinces have a feast of the Dormition – the Angican Church of Canada for instance marks the day as the "Falling Asleep of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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My Anglican parish observed the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary yesterday evening. Low Mass.

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As others have said, they are similar. The difference as I see it is that the Dormition concept seems to emphasize that Mary experienced bodily death before being resurrected and assumed into Heaven by Jesus. The Catholic Church does not definitively address the question of whether Mary experienced bodily death or not before she was assumed into Heaven. We are free to believe that she did, or free to believe that she did not. The Catechism just says “when the course of her early life was finished” she was assumed body and soul into Heaven.

I went to two Assumption Masses this year. At one, the priest stated in the homily that Mary never experienced death, that she was spared death because she did not have original sin. At the other, a different priest stated that Mary died and was assumed into Heaven after her death. Many Western Catholic articles and books also will make a statement that she died or she didn’t die.

It’s a moot point to me because the important thing is that she was assumed body and soul into Heaven. Whether this happened to her instead of dying, or one second before bodily death, or one second after bodily death, or after she’d spent three days on a bier or in her tomb, is not important to me, especially since the Latin Church doesn’t take a position. (I presume that if she did experience bodily death, her body did not decay at all, which would be in keeping with her being the holiest of all humans, since incorruptibility seems to happen frequently with holy saints.)

I found it interesting when I toured the Holy Land with a Roman Catholic group, the Church of the Dormition was not on the tour. I thought it was an odd thing to leave out. I wondered if they skipped it because of the confusion about the death or non-death of Mary.

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There is an Orthodox Church in Jerusalem that was built around her empty tomb. Dormition literally means ‘falling asleep’. We believe that Christ took her soul at her death. Then, her body was taken up to heaven and resurrected on the third day after her death.

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Yes, some Catholics, including some priests and theologians, would agree with this, noting the parallel with Jesus spending three days in the tomb. Your post reminded me that I also need to see the Tomb of Mary on some future return visit to Jerusalem, since the Catholic tour obviously didn’t stop there either (seeing as how it didn’t even include the Church of the Dormition).

Other Catholics, including some priests and theologians, would say she didn’t die at all, or that she did die but was assumed immediately on death and her body did not stay around for three days.

I see them as the same feast and use the terms interchangeably. The nearest Orthodox Church to me is the Church of the Assumption.

I don’t think that I would go so far as to say that the Feast of the Dormition emphasizes that she experienced bodily death, but it does assume that bodily death has taken place. The emphasis is definitely on her Resurrection and Assumption into heaven and ongoing intercession for us.

Here are the troparion and kontakion for the feast:

In birth, you preserved your virginity; in death, you did not abandon the world, O Theotokos. As mother of life, you departed to the source of life, delivering our souls from death by your intercessions.

Kontakion (Second Tone)
Neither the grave nor death could contain the Theotokos, the unshakable hope, ever vigilant in intercession and protection. As Mother of life, He who dwelt in the ever-virginal womb transposed her to life.

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Deacon Daniel Dozier’s article (already posted, but I’ll put it again for clarity) has a different take and I definitely defer to him on this matter.

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