August 1 - 15, 2015
Soonoyo means Transfer. Soonoyo Fast is observed to commemorate the falling asleep and transfer of St. Mary, the Mother of God, to Heaven. As per tradition, when Mother Mary was on her death bed, all Apostles from different parts of the world came together and witnessed her departure from this earthly abode. As per Syriac tradition, Apostle Thomas could not get back in time for her funeral, but sees St. Mary being "transferred" to the Heaven. This can be seen in the special songs section in the Holy Qurbana book (August 15, end of the Soonoyo fast).
|Jesus receiving the soul of Mother Mary, surrounded by the Apostles|
There are some Christian denominations that teach Mother Mary did not die, but was assumed to heaven alive before death. However, Orthodox tradition is unambiguous and teaches that Mother Mary did die a natural death.
Soonoyo fast is a "fixed" fast and every year it is observed between August 1 -15. Through the observance of this fast, Holy Church admonishes the faithful to prepare for their own death and pray for a death as coveted as Mother Mary's. This fast ends with Holy Qurbana on August 15.