This carving of the Dormition of Mary was in the Church of St Maurice in Talloires, Savoy, where we were on holiday last week. Despite the poor reproduction – an old-fashioned phone camera in a dark corner – the sense of Mary as one of a community with the disciples, as part of a family, is clear. John took her into his home, indeed.
And yet, that white sheet separates her body from the living disciples around her. She is no longer among them but with her risen Son.
I read* that the English word cemetery comes from the Greek Koimisis, meaning falling asleep in death. May we all awake to new life tomorrow morning in this world, and in the world to come, when we are called. Perhaps the Feast of the Dormition or Assumption is the day we should visit our loved ones’ graves, rather than a cold day in November, when the trees are bare and life seems to be on hold. In August we can see life coming to fruition in field, orchard and hedgerow. Unless a grain of wheat shall fall …