Dormition of the Theotokos
The Feast of the Dormition or the Falling Asleep of the Theotokos, the Mother of God, commemorates the death and glorification of the Mother of God. Eleven apostles surround her, all but Thomas. According to Church tradition the apostles were brought by clouds to honor the Theotokos at her bedside from the far reaches of where they had traveled to preach the Gospel. As she commits her spirit, Jesus descends flanked by ranks of angels. Christ, in his glory, holds a swathed infant Mary, representative of her soul’s ascent to heaven. In Church tradition, Thomas would arrive three days later and find her tomb empty, indicating her bodily resurrection—a reward believed to await all the faithful in the day to come.