My Beloved Ones,
I greet you with love and joy in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I am speaking to you today from Mt. Athos. This coming Sunday, August the 28th, the monasteries of the Holy Mountain—which still use the old Julian Calendar—will celebrate the Dormition of our Most Holy Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary.
I consider it a great blessing to able to personally commemorate this feast on both calendars, especially since the Mother of God is never far from my mind, and my heart. This Sunday, I shall pray for all of you: the clergy and the laity, the young and old; but especially for our children, that the Panagia may intercede with the Lord our God to give them the wisdom from above.
As we come to the end of summer, it is also a time for new beginnings. This Sunday represents the last weekend of the church year before the start of the Ecclesiastical New Year on September 1st.
Apostles, you have assembled today from earth's furthest reaches here in this town of Gethsemane; now, therefore, bury my body. And You, my Son and my God, receive my departing spirit.
Ἀπόστολοι ἐκ περάτων, συναθροισθέντες ἐνθάδε, Γεθσημανὴ τῶ χωρίω, κηδεύσατέ μου τὸ σῶμα, καὶ σύ, Υἱὲ καὶ Θεέ μου, παράλαβέ μου τὸ πνεῦμα.