Feast of the Assumption of St. Mary Mother of God & The Blessing of Grapes and Madagh

Feast of the Assumption of St. Mary, Mother of God (Verapokhum)

After Jesus’ Ascension, Mary remained in Jerusalem and enjoyed the care and the solicitude of the Apostles. She passed away when she was 60 years old. All the Apostles were present at the burial except St. Bartholomew. Mary had a premonition that Bartholomew might be exceedingly distressed for being denied the opportunity of paying his last respect at her funeral. As a consequence, she gave a portrait of herself to the Apostle John to give to Bartholomew. According to Armenian tradition, the Apostle Bartholomew, the first enlightener of the Armenians, took the portrait with him to Armenia. In spite of having the portrait, St. Bartholomew was not satisfied. He insisted on going to the grave and to see the body. The Apostles were gathered at the cemetery, trying to satisfy Bartholomew’s demand. Three days and nights of angelic songs and heavenly melodies had been for her in sleep. After three days the body of St. Mary Mother of God was carried up into heaven., the Assumption. This is the feats of the Assumption that we celebrate in the month of August.

The Blessing of Grapes and Madagh

An old tradition among Armenians was the blessings of the first and best fruits given to God, as an expression of thanks and gratitude. The grape enjoyed preeminence among all fruits, because it is the source of wine that is used in the Sacrament of the Divine Liturgy, in the Holy Communion and in Holy Matrimony. Therefore, Armenian Church conducts Grape Blessing service at the Assumption feast day.

Holy Scriptures exhort us to be merciful and to give alms to those who are in need. Therefore, Madagh is an act of mercy, thanksgiving and alms offering. During major feasts and Church name days, believers offer Madagh to express their gratitude to God for granting them health and wellbeing, and to ask for the peace of the souls.

August 11, 2021| Comments Off on Feast of the Assumption of St. Mary Mother of God & The Blessing of Grapes and Madagh

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