The Blessing of Fruit at the Feast of the Holy Transfiguration

My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ,
On Saturday, August 6th, our Holy Orthodox Christian Church commemorates the Holy Feast of the Transfiguration (Metamorphosis). Following the Divine Liturgy, according to Orthodox Christian tradition there will be the blessing of fruit, either grapes or apples. The exact origin of this practice may not be known, but in ancient Christian writing from about 235 A.D. we do find a prayer similar to the one in Orthodox prayer books for the blessing of fruit. The prayer is found in The Apostolic Tradition, a work that the ancients thought was written by Hippolytus in Rome. The Apostolic Tradition offers guidelines for proper behavior. The following prayer for the blessing of fruit also carries the instruction:

"And in all things are eaten they shall give thanks to the Holy God, eating to His glory."

The first fruit of the season harvested in Greece were grapes. The text reads:

"Let all hasten to offer the new fruits of the harvest to the bishop as first-fruits. And as he offers them, he shall bless them and name the one who offered saying: We give thanks to you, O God, and we offer You the firstlings of the fruits You have granted us to receive; through Your Word You nourished them, ordering the earth to bring forth all fruits for the enjoyment and nourishment of people and for all animals. We praise You, O God, for all these things and in all the things in which You have assisted us, for us adorning the whole creation with various fruits; through Your Child Jesus Christ Our Lord, through Whom be glory to you for the ages of ages. Amen.

There is even given further in the text a list of fruits that are to be blessed:

"Fruits are indeed blessed, that is, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, pears, apples, mulberries, peaches, cherries, almonds, plums, etc.

Those of you who will be attending the Divine Liturgy may bring any of the fruits mentioned above to be blessed and distributed to all those present following the blessing. I would encourage you also to take blessed fruit to your family.

(Source: Fr. Ted's Blog)

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A Prayer to the Most Holy Theotokos, by Saint John of Damascus:

No one stands between Son and Mother...Accept, then my good-will, which is greater than my capacity and give us salvation.

Heal our passions,
Cure our diseases,
Help us out of our difficulties,
Make our lives peaceful,
Send us the illumination of the Spirit.
Inflame us with the desire of Thy Son.
Render us pleasing to Him, so that we may enjoy happiness with Him, seeing Thee resplendent with Thy Son's glory, rejoicing forever, keeping feast in the Church with those who worthily celebrate Him Who worked our salvation through Thee, Christ the Son of God, and Our God.

To Him Be Glory and Majesty, with the Uncreated Father and the All-Holy and Life-Giving Spirit, now and forever, through the endless ages of eternity. Amen.

With sincere agape in Christ,
+Father George