1. Who was at this major event?
  2. What happened?
  3. When did it happen?
  4. Where did it happen?


Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.


  1. Read the story, using the icons of the Nativity, Crucifixion, and Dormition:

Mary was the Mother of Jesus, the Theotokos. God was His Father. When Jesus was a baby, Mary cared for Him and fed Him and gave Him His bath. But, all that time, she knew that this baby was different from other babies: He was the Son of God. Mary spent thirty years doing all the things a mother and wife must do. She cooked and cleaned and scrubbed and sewed. Her bare feet were dusty from the hard work of her little home in Nazareth.

Later, when Jesus was grown, He left home to begin His life’s work. Mary saw little of her Son during the years of His teaching and miracles. But, she still loved Him as  mother loves her child.

Mary was at the foot of the cross when her Son, Jesus, was dying there. Jesus saw her and knew how sad His pain and suffering made His mother. He called out to His disciple, John. John was to care for Mary as if she were his own mother. And so, for the rest of her life, he cared for the Theotokos as a loving son.

      After the day of Pentecost, Mary stayed in the city of Jerusalem, living with the disciple John.  She comforted and worked lovingly with the new Christian church. 

      When Mary was about 50 years old, she was sick and dying. She told her friends that she wanted to be buried in Gethsemane, the garden where Jesus prayed.  At that time, all of the apostles were scattered around the world preaching the Gospel.  When they heard of Mary’s dying, they all returned to Jerusalem. Some made the journey by foot; others were miraculously transported by the Lord Himself.  All arrived in time except St. Thomas, also known as Doubting   Thomas.  The apostles are pictured on either side of Mary, St. Peter at the head of the bier and St. Paul at the foot of the bier. With everyone gathered, Mary “fell asleep” in Christ. She died peacefully, knowing that the resurrection of her Son would also be hers.

      Below the bier in the icon we see Antoninus the Jew.  He was an enemy of the Christian community and tried to break up the burial of Mary by dumping over the bier.  An archangel appeared and cut off the hands of Antoninus to keep him from dishonoring the Theotokos. Antoninus was very sorry for what he had done and knew now that Jesus really was the Son of God. His hands were healed and he became a Christian.

When Thomas arrived, the other disciples took Thomas to the tomb in Gethsemane where Mary had been buried near her parents, Joachim and Anna.  But the tomb was empty!  The Church believes that Mary was resurrected bodily and taken to heaven, just as we all will be in the future.


Add Mary, the Theotokos, to your timeline.


  1. True/false Questions:

True                                         False

                  Dormition means “falling asleep”.            Below the bier in the icon we see Jesus.

                  Sts. Peter and Paul are in the icon.           Thomas arrived on time to see Mary.

                  The apostles returned for Mary’s death.   Mary died in Rome.

                  Mary died in Jerusalem.                            Antoninus was Mary’s friend.

                  Thomas found Mary’s empty tomb.         Mary lived to be 100 years old.


  1. Discuss the association of flowers with this feast.  According to tradition, when the apostles went to visit the tomb of Mary, instead of finding her body, they found only the burial cloths and the tomb was filled with the fragrance of flowers.  We bring flowers to church to be blessed and place them at the icon of the Theotokos.  We can then take home the flowers to give her fragrance to our homes.


  1. Make a Popsicle theater. Background could be a gift box or a 12x18 piece of construction paper folded in half to stand up or a shoebox or shoebox lid. Decorate background with flowers. Then cut out the icon pieces on the next page. Color and tape a Popsicle stick behind each figure. Tell the story with your puppets.


  1. Close with prayer: Lord, help me this week to feel the closeness that Mary felt with You and the love she had for You.