On August 6th we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration, which is when Jesus revealed his glory to three of the disciples (Peter, James, and John) on top of Mount Tabor. This occasion is particularly special as it is one Jesus works upon himself. Accounts of this event are recorded in scripture (Matthew 17:1-8, Mark 9:1-7, Luke 9:28-36, and 2 Peter 1:16-18). While the actual event of the Transfiguration took place forty days before the passion, we celebrate it during the summer. We do this because it is the time of the “first fruits” of the harvest. We do this as a reminder of God’s goodness and generosity.
In the East, we see the Feast of the Transfiguration as the second epiphany/theophany. The trinity is made manifest with the voice bombing from the clouds (the Father), Jesus (the Son), and the surrounding clouds (the Holy Spirit).
Son of God, transfigured on Mount Tabor, save us who sing to you, Alleluia.
Third Antiphon: (tone 7)
You were transfigured on the mount, O Christ our God, showing Your glory to Your disciples as much as they could bear. Make Your eternal light shine also on us who are sinners, through the prayers of the Mother of God, O Giver of Light, glory be to You
(verses to 3rd antiphon)
Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved
The mountains surround it, and the Lord surrounds His people now and ever and forever
Lord, who will stay in Your dwelling place, or abide in Your holy mountain?
Who will ascend the Lord’s mountain, or stand in His holy place?
Kontakion: (tone 7)
You were transfigured on the mount, O Christ our God, showing Your glory to Your disciples as much as they could; that when they saw You crucified they might know that You suffered willingly, and proclaim to the world that You are truly the brightness of the Father
Irmos: (tone 4, replacing the “it is truly right”)
O my soul, magnify the Lord transfigured on the mountain. Your giving birth was revealed as incorrupt; for it was God who came forth from your womb; He appeared on earth in the flesh, and made His dwelling among us. Therefore, O Mother of God, we all magnify you.
Ways to Celebrate the Transfiguration
Bring fruits to church to be blessed. The blessing of fruits during the Feast of the Transfiguration is a tradition which we can find record of as early as the third century. Traditional fruits to be blessed include almonds, figs, grapes, mulberries, peaches, pears, and pomegranates. However, whatever is fresh or available in your area is acceptable.
Read the scripture verses pertaining to the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8, Mark 9:1-7, Luke 9:28-36, and 2 Peter 1:16-18). and the prayers and tropars.
Pray or read reflections on the Luminous mysteries of the Rosary.
Use a white tablecloth and other white items to decorate your home. The white reminds us that the face and clothes of our Lord was lit up whiter than snow.
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