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The Transfiguration of Christ

“And He was transfigured before them, and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with Him.”

– Matthew 17:2-3

August 6th

Holy Scripture Accounts

The Gospels

And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain apart. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. And Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is well that we are here; if you wish, I will make three booths here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ He was still speaking, when lo, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.’ When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces, and were filled with awe. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, ‘Rise, and have no fear.’ And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, ‘Tell no one the vision, until the Son of man is raised from the dead.’

– Gospel of Matthew 17:1-9

And he said to them, ‘Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.’ And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves; and he was transfigured before them, and his garments became glistening, intensely white, as no fuller on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses; and they were talking to Jesus. And Peter said to Jesus, ‘Master, it is well that we are here; let us make three booths, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ For he did not know what to say, for they were exceedingly afraid. And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, ‘This is my beloved Son; listen to him.’ And suddenly looking around they no longer saw any one with them but Jesus only.

– Gospel of Mark 9:1-8

Readings for Vespers
  • Exodus 24:12-18; 33:11-23; 34:4-6,8
  • I Kings 19:3-9, 11-13, 15-16
Readings for Matins
  • Luke 9:28-36
  • Epistle Reading: 2 Peter 1:10-19
  • Gospel Reading: 17:1-9
  • Additional Reading: Mark 9:1-8

Troparion (Tone 7)

You were Transfigured on the Mount, O Christ God,
Revealing Your glory to Your disciples as far as they could bear it.
Let Your everlasting Light also shine upon us sinners!
Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Giver of Light, glory to You!

( audio )

Kontakion (Tone 7)

On the Mountain You were Transfigured, O Christ God,
And Your disciples beheld Your glory as far as they could see it;
So that when they would behold You crucified,
They would understand that Your suffering was voluntary,
And would proclaim to the world,
That You are truly the Radiance of the Father!

Teaching from the Transfiguration of Christ Icon

Jesus the Messiah, radiates with humanity’s original beauty, the beauty that once again will belong to the righteous in the age to come. His divinity, represented by the blue mandorla, shines through His humanity — as it always has. On Tabor, He’s allowed His disciples to see as much of it as they can bear.”

God the Father – is invisibly present. Once again He calls Jesus His beloved Son, connecting this feast to Theophany, the first revelation of the Holy Trinity.”

The Holy Spirit, the luminous cloud that covers the mountaintop, is represented by the geometrical figure in Christ’s mandorla.”

Elijah the Prophet, at the Savior’s right hand — the spot where John the Baptist stands in the Theophany icon — represents all the prophets, whose words ultimately point to Jesus Christ. Having been taken up into the heavenly realm by a fiery chariot, he also represents the living.”

Moses the Lawgiver holds the book of the Law, which Christ fulfills perfectly. Having died before reaching the Promised Land, he represents the dead.”

Peter the Chief Apostle represents Faith since, just days before the Transfiguration, he was the first to confess Jesus as ‘the Christ, the Son of the Living God.’ His hand gestures toward Jesus, indicating that he is saying, ‘Lord it is good for us to be here’ (Matt. 17:4).”

John the Theologian, who will stay with Jesus during the Crucifixion, represents Love. Christs’s youngest apostle — as indicated by the lack of a beard — he is always shown in the middle, directly below the feet of Christ.”

James the Son of Thunder, John’s older brother, represents Hope since his strong belief in the Kingdom of Heaven led him to become the first of the twelve disciples to be martyred. Like the other apostles, he’s been knocked off his feet by Christ’s dazzling glory.”

Quoted from: Heaven meets Earth: Celebrating Pascha and the Twelve Feast (page 54), by John Kosmas Skinas

Festal Tradition

Blessing of the Grapes

More information

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