The Lamentations of the Dormition of the Theotokos


  1. In a grave they laid you
    yet, O Christ, you are life
    and they now have laid the Mother of Life as well:
    both to angels and to men a sight most strange!


  1. We exalt you greatly,
    Theotokos most pure,
    and we glorify your holy dormition now,
    as we bow before your honored precious tomb.


  1. In your womb you held him
    who cannot be contained;
    you are life to all the faithful: how can you die,
    and your body be contained within a tomb?


  1. You brought forth, Pure Maiden,
    God the heavenly King,
    and today in manner royal are carried forth
    to the Kingdom of the Heavens as a Queen.


  1. Holy Theotokos,
    You have passed from this world,
    in departing not forsaking those left on earth,
    but delivering this world from every ill.


  1. All the earth sings glory
    at your grave side, O Christ,
    with all reverence, O Master, we also praise
    the entombment of your Mother, ever Pure.


  1. Overcome with wonder,
    are the angels in awe
    in beholding you, Pure Maiden, laid out as dead,
    for from you has Light beamed forth to all the world.


  1. Maiden Pure and Spotless,
    and our Heavenly Queen,
    once again has God sent Gabriel down to earth
    with the joyful news that you have left this life.


  1. Now the Bridegroom calls you,
    to rejoice, Bride of God.
    in a manner both divine and most beautiful
    in the Bridal Chamber, holy and divine.


  1. You, O Virgin, come now
    to the throne seat of God
    where the awesome unapproachable Light shines forth
    from the Trinity, and lights where you repose.


  1. From the earth departing,
    You appeared before God.
    You were not, O Theotokos, removed from God,
    nor has God been parted from His mother’s heart.


  1. Your most honored Body,
    Theotokos, remained
    uncorrupted by decay as you lay entombed
    but it passed with you to heaven from the earth.


  1. Your all-holy face shines
    Purest Maiden, in death,
    and your countenance appears now as Paradise,
    breathing forth to all believers grace and life.


  1. We your children offer
    lamentations and love
    unto you who are our Mother: accept our gift
    which we offer from the deepness of our souls.


  1. Look upon your children
    who are gathered this day:
    may your honored eyes be open that you behold
    those who glorify with honor your repose.


  1. To us grant your blessing
    when you open your lips
    O Most Holy Theotokos, departing now
    at the ending of your time upon the earth.


  1. Leave us not as orphans
    when you leave us on earth,
    for, O Mother, you are taken to heaven now,
    to abide there with your Son and with your God.


  1. Gathered ‘round your bedside,
    we are calling to you,
    our all-holy Virgin Mother, with fervent voice,
    “Save the faithful and have mercy upon us!”


  1. Mother Anna, join us
    Come and stand in our midst!
    Come and lead the celebration of this glad feast
    of your holy daughter, Mother of our God!


  1. Come and let us raise up
    praise and glory to God
    who has summoned to the Holy of Holies now
    one yet greater than the Holiest of Saints.


  1. Filled with gladness, Heaven
    is receiving her Queen
    for the Mother of creation in glory comes
    and appears in glory, reigning with her God.


  1. Now the God of Glory
    takes His mother to Him
    and the Son who has received you, O Purest One,
    has prepared for you a seat at His right Hand.


Glory to the Father and the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

  1. Now unto the Father
    and the Holy Spirit
    we with gladness sound forth hymns, Word and God of all,
    and we glorify your countenance divine.

Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

  1. Every generation
    comes to know you as blest,
    and your holy pure dormition we glorify
    Theotokos, ever-Virgin, Sovereign Queen!

(Repeat Verse One)

In a grave they laid you
yet, O Christ, you are life
and they now have laid the Mother of Life as well:
both to angels and to men a sight most strange!


  1. Truly it is right
    that we magnify you who bestow life,
    just as your pure Mother you magnify
    for her life-creating falling into sleep.


  1. Truly it is right
    that we magnify you, Theotokos,
    you took your divine and all-blameless soul
    and entrusted it into the Hands of God.


  1. Wonder strange and new!
    For the Door now passes through the Doorway,
    Heaven enters Heaven! We stand in awe
    Țas the Throne of God ascends the Throne of God!


  1. All angelic hosts
    stood and marveled when beholding Christ God,
    who is unapproachable now approach
    to give honor to His mother as a Son.


  1. Angels shook with fear
    to behold their God again descending;
    with His mother’s soul carried in His hands,
    He arose again in glory most divine.


  1. Heaven shall be awed,
    and the earth unto these words shall hearken;
    God above all things, who did once come down,
    for His mother’s sake a second time descends!


  1. Wisdom now has moved
    from her dwelling place on earth to heaven.
    and has filled her heavenly mansion there
    with the glory that has come from God above.


  1. Virgin Bride of God,
    who did not descend to us from Heaven,
    by her giving birth unto heaven’s King
    from this world unto the heavens now ascends.


  1. Mankind now may pass
    into heaven for the Way is open.
    Come therefore, all Christians who bear His name:
    Let us rise up with the Mother of our God.


  1. Down into the earth
    You, the Lord’s unplanted land, descended,
    Out of you has sprung forth the Grain of Life,
    and unto the Land of Heaven you arise.


  1. Mother of the Light!
    Now the sun which once beheld the setting of the Sun of Righteousness now beholds
    You, O Virgin, as the setting of the moon.


  1. Darkness of the tomb
    now conceals the Lord’s light-bearing Mountain
    which once covered Heaven with Virtue’s light,
    but now lies beneath the shadows of its shroud.


  1. Taken from the earth
    you arose to be with God in heaven.
    All the earth rejoices along with you
    and it glorifies, O Virgin, your repose.


  1. Pure and incorrupt,
    now your body lies enclosed in Heaven
    while your grace, O Virgin, is pouring forth
    and illuminates the face of all the earth.


  1. Filling up your days
    singing hymns to God with prayer and fasting
    You, O Virgin Maiden, await the time
    when you come before the Lord in your repose.


  1. Faithful souls rejoice,
    and their faces are alight and shining,
    Our all-holy Lady, because of you,
    who, departing now from us, will join the Lord.


  1. See before your tomb
    standing piously the true believers;
    hear the lamentations our voices raise
    unto you, who are the Author of our Life.


  1. Early in the dawn
    we the faithful rise to sing your glory
    praising your dormition, with all our love,
    Sovereign Virgin Maiden, free from any sin.


  1. Virgin Bride of God!
    When you enter into heaven’s kingdom,
    Grant that you remember the faithful here
    who now honor your dormition with our hymns.


  1. As you once foretold,
    you are magnified now, most pure Virgin,
    by the very power which did create
    both the heavens and the earth and all therein.


  1. Standing face to face
    where the Seraphim their faces cover,
    you behold the Trinity that is God
    one in essence, and which nothing can divide.


  1. All the earth is glad
    and the heavens sing in celebration;
    angels raise their voices to join with men
    and as you ascend to heaven they rejoice!

Glory to the Father and the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

  1. God beyond all time,
    with the Word and Spirit everlasting,
    in that You are God, merciful and good,
    let the clarion of Christians be extolled!

Both now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

  1. Life was born of you,
    who are holy and most pure, O Virgin,
    as you now depart from this world to Life,
    grant true life to us who faithfully believe.

(Repeat Verse One)

Truly it is right
that we magnify you who bestows life,
just as your pure Mother you magnify
for her life-creating falling into sleep.


  1. Every generation
    offers hymns, O Virgin,
    to honor your entombment.


  1. Come with all creation
    to sing the hymns of parting
    as you are raised, O Virgin.


  1. Disciples of my Lord Christ,
    arrive to tend the body
    of my God’s purest Mother.


  1. Invisibly attending,
    the archangels and angels
    in ranks sing hymns to praise you.


  1. The women high in honor
    along with the apostles
    are crying out and weeping.


  1. O Virgin never-wedded,
    the Mother of the Most High,
    how shall we bear this passion?


  1. The time of your departing
    holds joy for all creation,
    but leaves us weeping, mournful.


  1. O Mother, do not leave us
    behind you now as orphans,
    without your love and caring.


  1. Our Light are you, O Virgin,
    how then shall we bear this:
    no more to see your sweet eyes?


  1. Alas! Your lips which loved God
    and ever spoke about Him
    have now been bound by silence.


  1. “We shall not abandon
    the Mother of our Teacher!”
    the Lord’s apostles cried out.


  1. On up-borne clouds, O Virgin,
    again we go before you
    unto the gates of Heaven.


  1. The holy staff is laid down
    inside the tomb and hidden
    and from it Life has blossomed.


  1. By giving birth she raised up
    the dead from their entombment,
    and yet, she lies entombed now.


  1. “Where, Virgin, are you going?”
    her loved one and defender
    calls out as Son to Mother.


  1. You, who are God’s Mother
    with joyful heart now enter
    into your Son’s glad presence.


  1. Called with the apostles
    are you again attending
    the wedding feast at Cana?


  1. Take me, your child, O Virgin
    today as you are raised up
    to be with your divine Son.


  1. To Heaven you are taken,
    and with your Son are living:
    Let me be also taken.


  1. Together in the Heavens,
    may we now stand in glory
    who at your cross in pain stood.


  1. Gethsemane, be joyful!
    Great hosts endowed with reason
    descend now with the Master.


  1. Be jubilant, be joyful,
    O Chorus of Disciples,
    Behold the Lord in glory!


  1. Once more is God descending!
    Today let all creation
    beholding Him make merry.


  1. Let us go forth, O people,
    in haste to greet the Lord, who
    is once again descending.


  1. This day we may we all listen
    to God as He is speaking
    with His all-spotless Mother.


  1. Come now, sweetest Mother,
    and enter with rejoicing
    your sweetest Son’s glad presence.


  1. Let your eyes behold now
    your Son who comes to take you
    unto His own, O Mother.


  1. “I come to see the glory
    of my Mother shining
    before my Father’s glory.”


  1. “My God,” avows your Mother,
    “I glorify your mercy,
    and utter loving kindness.”


  1. “I glorify you, kneeling
    bowed down, my Son, in worship
    of your majestic glory.”


  1. Since You, who are the nearest
    to me, from earth have risen
    unto my Father draw near.


  1. Enclosed are you, O Garden,
    in which we will discover
    The Tree of Life Unending.


  1. Sealed are you, O Fountain,
    from which the streams of life pour
    most wondrously with sweetness.


  1. “My lips shall sing the praises
    of your divine dominion
    My son and sovereign Godhead.”

Glory to the Father and the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

  1. My God, who are three persons,
    Father, Son, and Spirit,
    on all the world have mercy!

Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

  1. Deem your servants worthy
    to enter in the Kingdom
    that is your Son’s, O Virgin.

(Repeat Verse One)

Every generation
offers hymns, O Virgin,
to honor your entombment.

This translation by Nancy Chalker Takis ( employs the exact metrical pattern of the original Greek text and can be applied to any of the traditional Byzantine melodies. The translation is dedicated to the nuns of the Dormition of the Holy Mother of God Monastery in Rives Junction, Michigan.

Photo credit: Ziarul Lumina

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