Today, fasting begins for and lasts for two weeks for all Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Faithful, ending with the Feast of the Assumption of Mariam (Filsata) celebrated in Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido faith teaches that our Lady, The Virgin Mariam, was assumed into heaven in soul and body. Like the rest of humanity, she underwent physical death, but after eath, her body was taken up to heaven, and her tomb was found to be empty. Thus, for Ethiopian Orthodox Christians, the blessed Virgin has passed beyond death and judgment and lives already in the age to come. yest she is not utterly separated from the rest of humanity, for all humanity awaits and hopes to share the same bodily glory which Mariam now enjoys. even in her perfect state she intercedes for humanity until the final judments.
The death of the Mother of God is an affirmation of the reality of the humaity of Mariam and in this way attests also to the humanity of our Lord and Saviour Iyesus Kristos in the incarnation. It is through Mariam that one beholds the human nature of her Son as the incarnate son of God. Her death confirms that she is not a heavenly being but is truly our human sister. As our sister, she became a prototype of the Church, receiving from God a universal maternity over humanity as one who loves the whole world, longing for the perfect salvation of all.
The Assumption of the Virgin Mariam is the most highly honored feast among all feast of the saints. It ranks second only to the feasts of the Lord. Observed on August 16, the Feast of the Assumption commemorates the entrance of St. Mariam’s corporeal body and soul into heaven as she preceded the faithful believers, taking her seat at the right hand of her bridegroom and Son. The feast is based on the conviction that the Lord did not permit the body in which He Himself dwelt to fall prey to corruption and dissolution: though mariam as a human being underwent death, she was taken up to heaven. To Ethiopians, the celebration of this event bears a powerful witness to the eschatological truth of their faith. As members of the Church, they wait the final consummation. On the Last Day, the righteous will rise from the grave and be united once more to a body – not a body such as we possess now, but one that is transfigured and “spiritual” (1 Cor. 15: 40-42), a body in which inward sanctity is made outwardly manifest. The Ethiopian faithful, assured of their resurrection first and foremost by the resurrection of their Lord and Savior Iyesus Kristos, are being further assured by the Assumption of their sister, The Virgin Mariam, and therefor observe the Feast of the Assumption with honor and supreme joy.
Dingel/Virgin Mariam Prayer in Amharic the Language of The King of Kings
PRAYER OF ST. MARIAM
O Holy Virgin Mariam in the peace of the
Angel Gabriel, peace be unto thee.
Thou are Virgin in Spirit as well as in body
O thou Mother of Perfect God, peace be
unto thee, Blessed are thou amongst
women and Blessed is the fruit of thy
womb. Rejoice, O thou who are full of
grace, the Lord is with thee. Ask and
pray for us to thy Beloved Son, Eeyesus
Kiristos, that he may have mercy upon
our souls and forgive us our sins. Amen