Dormition Of The Virgin Mary

DORMITION OF THE VIRGIN MARY

The Coptic calendar has two feasts for the Holy Virgin, the 21st of Tuba, the Dormition of the Virgin, and the 16th of Misra, the Assumption of the Virgin. The earliest manuscript, which contains a homily on the Assumption of the Virgin, is a papyrus preserved in the Pierpont Morgan Library.

It probably dates from the seventh century. We have a collection of homilies on the subject attributed to Cyril of Jerusalem; Evode, Pope of Rome; Theodosius of Alexandria; Theophilus of Alexandria; Cyril of Alexandria; Cyriacus of Bahnasa; and Theophilus of Landra, as well as a number of anonymous fragments. This relatively huge literature is from the collections of the libraries of Hamuli (Fayoum), the White Monastery, the Monastery of St. Macarius, and Edfu.

Such liturgical books as the Synaxarion, the Antiphonarion (Difnar), the Psalis, and the doxologies commemorate these two feasts. Several apocryphal books in the Coptic Church mention the Dormition and the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. It is noteworthy that this tradition is also accepted in the other Oriental churches as well as the Roman Catholic Church.

GAWDAT GABRA

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