The Mother of God has falled asleep and lies on her deathbed. Christ's apostles have gathered around her, and above her stands Christ Himself holding His Mother in His arms, where she is alivee and eternally united with Him. Here we see both death and what was already come to pass in this paricular death; not rupture, but union; not sorrow, but joy; and most profoundly, not death, but life. 'In giving birth, you remained a Virgin and after falling asleep you have not forsaken the world, O Theotokos...Neither the tomb nor death could hold the Mother of God, who is ever watchful in prayer, in whose intercession lies unfailing hope. For as Mother of Life she was transported to Life..."
Father Alexander Schmemann