In honor of Mary – the ever virgin Mother of our God – the Theotokos (God bearer) whose holy feast of Dormition we are about to celebrate, and whose fast we are keeping at present. More honorable than the cherubim, more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim, who without corruption gave birth to God the word, true Theotokos we magnify you. Holy Mary, with all the saints, pray for us.
The Virgin-Mother is, as it were, the sole border connecting the created and the uncreated Divine Essence… And all who see God also recognize her as the place [containing] the Uncontainable. And all who lift up praise unto God also sing her praises after God. She is the reason for and blessing of those who came before her, and the gift and giver to those present and intercessor for those in eternity. She is the basis of prophets, beginning of apostles, confirmation of martyrs, and foundation of teachers. She is the glory of those on earth, the joy of those in Heaven, the adornment of all Creation. She is the beginning, the spring and root of hope prepared for us in the Heavens, the hope that we might all be vouchsafed by her prayers for us, to receive Jesus Christ our Lord, in glory born of the Father before all ages, and in latter days incarnate of her.
St. Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessaloniki 1347-1359