Rejoice Thou through Whom Creation is Renewed

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lessons from a monastery

During the years my husband was a deacon in Greece, we spent every Sunday of the summer months at a monastery where he assisted the priest for the celebration of Divine Liturgy. We would also go for some feasts that fall in the summer months, such as the feast of the Transfiguration, among others.

Our last summer living in Greece we joined the sisters once again to celebrate the feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos. That particular year an icon of Panagia Paramythia had been lent to the monastery as a blessing for the feast of the Mother of God on August 15.

The prototype of this icon is located at Vatopedi Monastery on Holy Mount Athos and has an incredible history behind it. Tradition has it that the figure’s hands and faces were in different positions originally. Until January 21, 807 when the abbot, praying alone, heard the…

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