My beloved spiritual children in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.
THE HOLY FEAST-DAY OF THE TRANSFIGURATION (METAMORPHOSIS) OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST ON MT. TABOR
Apolytikion (Dismissal) Hymn of the Transfiguration of Our Lord. Grave Tone
Thou was 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. Light-bestower, glory to Thee.
Kontakion Hymn. Grave Tone
On the mount Thou was transfigured, and Thy disciples, as much as they could bear, beheld Thy glory, O Christ our God; that when they should 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.
Note: Such as the marvels, truly worthy of God, celebrated in this present feast, which is an image and prefiguring of the future state of the righteous, whose splendor the Lord spoke of, saying: "then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun" (St. Matthew 13:43). It is because of this that the Kontakion hymn of this Feast is said daily (when there is not a great feast) in the Service of the Typica in perpetual commemoration of the glory that will be the lot of the Saints. According to Tradition, the Lord's Transfiguration (Metamorphosis) came to pass forty days before His Crucifixion; this is why the Transfiguration is celebrated forty days before the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, September 14th.
Because of the Great Feast of the Holy Transfiguration of Our Lord, our Church allows the faithful Orthodox Christians to eat fish on August 6th.
THE TRANSFIGURATION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ON MT. TABO
By His Eminence Metropolitan of Nafpaktos, Greece HIEROTHEOS
Christ went up to Mt. Tabor in order to show the glory of His Divinity. This could also have taken place on a plain in a remote place. But why did He prefer the mountain?
In early times all the great events usually took place in a higher place, on high and low mountains, just as the pagans also used to do, who performed their sacrifices on the mountains. Christ showed the magnitude of His Glory on Mt. Tabor, for the manifestation of the deification (theosis) of human nature is the greatest event in the history of mankind.
Then, as Christ said, He came to seek the sheep that had gone astray, which was lost on the mountain. So Christ went up on the mountain to show that He had found the sheep that had gone astray and freed it from sin and the devil, that he was the true shepherd of men (Saint Gregory the Theologian).
Again, His going up on the mountain shows that all who want to see the glory of the divinity in the human nature of the Logos/Word must come out of lowness, leave the low things and go up high, that is to say, they must be purified of all earthly things that keep them bound to the earth.
Christ's Transfiguration (Metamorphosis) took place during the day. The Disciples saw two suns, sensory and noetic. In one of his troparia (hymns), Saint John of Damascus writes: "The visible sun was eclipsed by the rays of Thy Divinity when it saw Thee Transfigured on Mount Tabor, O my Jesus". That is to say, the sun of our senses was hidden and make to disappear by the rays of Christ's Divinity. Perhaps at first, they saw two lights, the created and the uncreated, as the Saints say who have such experiences, but when they saw a greater energy of the Divinity, they lost the sensory sun completely. Saint Isaac the Syrian says that the Disciples on Tabor saw two suns "one in the sky as usual and one contrary to the usual"...
"...The Holy Fathers, speaking of the Transfiguration (Metamorphosis) of Christ and the partaking of Divine Glory, speak of the personal ascent on the Mount of the vision of God. It is the constant cry of the Church: "make Thine Everlasting Light shine forth also upon us sinners". And in a related prayer in the First Hour, we feel the need to ask Christ: "O Christ, the True Light, which illumineth and sanctifieth every man who cometh into the world! Let the Light of Thy Countenance be shown upon us, that in it we may behold the Light Ineffable". Continual ascent and development are needed. In the Church, we speak of man's development, not from the ape to man, but from man to God. And this "ecclesiastical theory" of development which the Church has, gives an understanding of life and satisfies all of man's inner problems and existential anxieties.
Saint Maximos the Confessor teaches that Christ is not shown to all in the same way, but to the beginners, He is shown in the form of a servant, while to those who are ascending the mountain of the vision of God He is shown "in the form of God"...
"...In conclusion, we must say that the Transfiguration (Metamorphosis) of Christ is the central event in Christ's life, but also a fundamental point in the life of man. Therefore it must be analyzed not with beautiful, moral thoughts and sentimental effusions, but in the framework of orthodox theology. Moreover, we live in the Church and are trying not simply to become good people, but to be gods by grace. The life of the Church and Orthodox Theology summon us to this height. (Source: The Feasts of the Lord. An Introduction to the Twelve Feasts and Orthodox Christology)
DIVINE SERVICES ON AUGUST 6TH - FEAST OF HOLY TRANSFIGURATION:
Orthros at 9:00 a.m.
Divine Liturgy at 10:00 a.m.
"Glory Be To GOD For All Things!" -- Saint John Chrysostomos
With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God