1. Children should be able to tell the story of the dormition and to recognize the characters in the icon.
  2. Why do we bring flowers for the dormition?

Possible Lesson Plan:

1. Open with prayer.


2. Show the icon of the Dormition.  Identify the characters and tell the story:

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.  At that time, all of the apostles were scattered around the world preaching the Gospel.  When they heard of Mary’s death, they all returned to Jerusalem.  All arrived in time for her burial 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. 

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 then knew that Jesus was the Lord and became a believer. His hands were healed.

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.


  1. True or false:

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.

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

            empty tomb.


  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. If the weather permits, gather some flowers. Make a bouquet and place it beneath Mary’s icon, or dry the flowers to be used later in candle decorating.


  1. Craft Idea: Tissue Paper Flower

Purchase 1 pack multi-colored tissue paper.  Have each child select 3 sheets.  Lay the sheets on top of each other and fold the whole unit like a fan.  Cut each end in a rounded shape.  Twist 1 end of a green chenille pipe cleaner around the center of the “fan” tightly.  Carefully, 1 layer at a time, separate the fan petals, pulling gently upwards and smoothing into a circle.


  1. Close with prayer.