By Fr. Thomas Hopko
How can I know Christ as the way, the truth, and the life of God, and humanity, the light of the world? How can I know the Orthodox Church as “the household of God,” and “the pillar, and bulwark of the truth” - God’s kingdom on earth? If you want to find answers for yourself to these questions, Orthodox Christian saints, and spiritual teachers would ask you to do the following things as faithfully, and honestly as you can, and to see for yourself what happens.
Fr Thomas Hopko teaches about the Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos by looking at the hymnology associated with the feast
The first great liturgical celebration, Church feast, of the ecclesiastical year that begins in September in the Orthodox Church is the festival of the Nativity, the birthday of the Virgin Mary, of Christ’s mother, the Theotokos, Virgin Mary. This festival is on the 21st of September.
It’s fitting that the very first great feast of the Church year would be Mary’s birthday especially as we recall that the last great festival of the ecclesiastical year in August is Mary’s entrance into eternal life; her kimesis, her falling asleep, her dormition. So we end the year with the Dormition of Mary and we begin the year with the birth of Mary.