Dormition in Calistoga
As the afternoon shadows lengthened on Thursday, August 14th, the bells of Holy Assumption Monastery in Calistoga, CA, rang out joyously, announcing the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos. His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin, served the Vigil that evening, which was attended by 40-50 guests. Both Father Joakim Provatakis (St. Symeon, Calistoga, CA - ROCOR) and Father Lawrence Margitich (St. Seraphim, Santa Rosa, CA - OCA) assisted in the altar, while Father Nebojsa Pantic (Ss. Constantine and Helen, Vallejo, CA - GOA) brought many of his parishioners. The lampadas in our tiny church shone brightly and garlands of flowers adorned the epitaphion of the Theotokos as we sang the special hymns of the feast: "The angels, as they looked upon the dormition of the Virgin, were struck with wonder, seeing how the Virgin went up from earth to heaven."