John M. Samaha SM
The Dormition (Assumption) is celebrated with great reverence by the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox churches. John M. Samaha, a Marianist monk from Cupertino, California, considers the role given to Mary in Byzantine liturgy.?
One aspect of the Byzantine Liturgy that frequently captures the attention of the Christian faithful is the exalted place given the Blessed Virgin Mary in daily worship. Her image is always at the left side of the iconostasis, depicting her with her Son and never without him. Her name is always proclaimed after that of her Son. In addition to the four Marian feasts shared with the Roman Church, the Byzantine faithful celebrate many other Marian festivals and dedicate two weeks of intense preparation for her feast of the Assumption (Dormition).
When Mary’s name is mentioned in liturgical prayer, the Byzantine Church gives her entire title: ‘All holy, spotless, most highly blessed and glorious lady, the Mother of God (Theotokos) and ever-virgin Mary.’