O, most glorious wonder! The Life of all is laid in a tomb! And the tomb becomes a ladder to Heaven. O happy grave of the Mother of God! Rejoice O Gethsemane, holy shrine of the Theotokos! Led by Gabriel, let us cry, “Hail, O full of grace, the Lord is with you, granting the world great mercy through you!” –Sticheron for Great Vespers of Dormition
It is with great joy that on August 15th the Church celebrates the Dormition–the falling asleep–of the Mother of God. Mary, who became the mother of our Savior, died in the flesh. The icon of the feast shows that her soul was taken up into Heaven by her son Jesus, where she remains constantly praying to Him for us.
Tradition tells us that her tomb was filled with heavenly fragrance, and so on this feast day we bless flowers and fragrant herbs.