Holy Tradition tells us that the Apostles except Thomas were transported mystically to Jerusalem in order to be with The Theotokos as she died and present for her burial. When the Apostle Thomas arrived the next day, the tomb was opened so that he could make his farewell. To their astonishment and praise of God they found an empty tomb filled with sweet-smelling flowers. This event is not found in sacred Scripture but is accounted for by Holy Tradition. The Melkite Church, hence, blesses sweet-smelling flowers in remembrance of this great sign of her holiness and her being taken body and soul to heaven. At the end of the blessing the blessed flowers were distributed to be taken home.
This evening, Father Dennis prayed this prayer.
Priest: Let us pray to the Lord.
Response: Lord, have mercy.
Lord God almighty, You fill all things with Your Word. You commanded the earth to bring forth fruit in due season, and You gave it to mankind for our joy and life. By Your Holy Spirit, bless + now these flowers which have been brought before You in this holy temple to honor the Falling Asleep of the Mother of Your only Son. Purify from all defilement these, Your servants, who receive them, and fill their houses with all fragrance. May all who receive these flowers obtain protection of body and soul; and may Your healing grace be a remedy for our salvation.
For all glory, honor and worship are Your due, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and always and for ever and ever.
These flowers are blessed and sanctified by the descent of the all-holy Spirit and the sprinkling of holy water, in the name of the Father + and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
~August Menaion, Eparchy of Newtown