Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Feast of the Transfiguration of Christ

"And having risen early, Moses went up to Mount Sinai, as the Lord told him. And the Lord descended in a cloud, and stood near him there, and called by the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before his face, and proclaimed: the Lord God, compassionate and merciful, long-suffering, greatly merciful and true. And Moses hastened, and bowed down to the earth, and worshipped the Lord."

~Exodus 34:4-6,8

"And he lay down, and slept there under the tree.
And behold, someone touched him, and said to him:
 “Arise, and eat!”
And Elijah looked, and, behold,
at his head there was a cake of meal and a cruse of water;
 and he arose, and ate and drank, and returned and lay down.
And the angel of the Lord returned again,
and said to him: “Arise, and eat, for the journey is far from thee.”
 And he arose, and ate and drank,
and went in the strength of that food
for forty days and forty nights to Mount Horeb.
And he entered there into a cave, and rested there;
and, behold, the word of the Lord came to him,
 and said:
“Thou shalt go forth, and
shalt stand before the Lord in the mountain.
 Behold, the Lord will pass by.”

And, behold, there was a great and strong wind
rending the mountains, and crushing rocks before the Lord;
 but the Lord was not in the wind.
And after the wind an earthquake;
but the Lord was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake a fire;
 but the Lord was not in the fire.
And after the fire, the voice of a gentle breeze;
and the Lord was there.
 And it came to pass that when Elijah heard,
he wrapped his face in his mantle,
 and went forth and stood in the cave.

~from third book of Kings.

"The feast of the Transfiguration
....[the] summer celebration of the feast, however, has lent itself very well to the theme of transfiguration...." 

..."The blessing of grapes, as well as other fruits and vegetables on this day is the most beautiful and adequate sign of the final transfiguration of all things in Christ. It signifies the ultimate flowering and fruitfulness of all creation in the paradise of God’s unending Kingdom of Life where all will he transformed by the glory of the Lord."
(see here for more)

Troparion of the Transfiguration 

Thou wast transfigured on the mountain, O Christ our God, showing to Thy disciples Thy glory as each one could endure; shine forth Thou on us, who are sinners all, Thy light ever-unending through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Light-giver, glory to Thee!

Kontakion of the Transfiguration 

On the mount Thou wast transfigured,  and Thy disciples, as much as they could bear, beheld Thy glory, O Christ God; so that when they would see Thee crucified,  they would know Thy passion to be willing, and would preach to the world  that Thou, in truth, art the Effulgence of the Father.