As the month of July expires, our attention turns to the two-week fasting period (August 1–14) preceding the final great feast day of the ecclesiastical year, the Dormition of the Theotokos (August 15). At this time, it is customary for Orthodox Christian communities to gather and alternately pray the small and great Paraklesis (supplication) services to the Theotokos on most evenings during the fast.