Wildwood, NJ – Greek Orthodox faithful flocked to the whitewashed church of St. Demetrios this past Saturday for the the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heavens. The Annual service saw it’s tiny church fill to capacity with it’s faithful and was led by Father Steven Vlahos.

Also known as the Falling Asleep of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the annual event is celebrated by Christians around the world and is arguably one of the biggest Orthodox services. According to the beliefs of the Eastern Orthodox church, the body of the Virgin Mary is taken up into Heavens at the end of her earthly life. The event also signals the end of summer.

Following church services the congregation retreated to the rear of the church in a procession along the North Wildwood seawall. There, Father Vlahos led his attendees in prayer and song before a wreath was tossed into the sea. The wreath was a symbolic gesture to those loved ones that had passed on.