We offer this primer of the Feast of the Transfiguration, with links to music of the feast. Enjoy!
We will celebrate the feast on Saturday morning, August 6, immediately after the baptism and chrismation of David Adam Tijanic, which will begin at 9:30 a.m.
It is traditional to bring fruit to to church be blessed on the feast. All are welcome and encouraged to bring a basket or tray of fruit, which should be left on the tetrapod set up before the icon.
The feast captures a decisive moment in the mission of the Messiah. It occurs just as Jesus is setting out on his final journey to Jerusalem. It commemorates his metamorphosis on Mount Tabor when he appeared in divine glory, his face shining like the sun and his garments white as light. The apostles Peter, James, and John had been specially chosen as witnesses and they observe Jesus speaking with Moses and Elijah about the “exodus” he will undergo in the Holy City. Peter offers to build three booths for them, a reference to the Feast of Tabernacles, suggesting that the events coincided with the ancient feast. It may also suggest that Peter, hearing of the “exodus” that Christ must undergo, sought to delay the inevitable. Suddenly, a bright cloud, the Shekinah, overshadows them and the voice of the Father is heard, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” The glorious light of the Resurrection was revealed to strengthen the disciples for the trials that they were soon to experience when Jesus offered himself up or the life of the world.
The event of the Transfiguration is recorded in three of the four Gospels: Matthew 17:1-9, Mark 9:2-8, and Luke 9:28-36.
Icon of the Feast
Christ appears in a dominant position in the icon, within a circular mandorla. His right hand is raised in blessing, and his left hand contains a scroll. The mandorla with its varying shades of blue represents the divine glory and light. The halo around the head of Christ is inscribed with the Greek words ΌώΝ, meaning “The One Who is.”
Elijah (Elias) and Moses stand at the top of separate mountain peaks to the left and right of Christ. They are bowing toward Christ with their right hands raised in a gesture of intercession towards him. They represent the Law and the Prophets
The three Apostles show by their posture their response to the transfiguration. James has fallen over and is raising his hands to cover his eyes. John in the center has fallen prostrate. Peter is kneeling and raises his right hand toward Christ in a gesture expressing his desire to build the three booths. The garments of the Apostles are in a state of disarray as to indicate the dramatic impact the vision has had on them.
The feast points to the great and glorious Second Coming of our Lord and the fulfillment of the Kingdom of God when all of creation will be transfigured and filled with light.
Hymns of the Feast
Troparion of Transfiguration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPpIr809GLw
Another Version: https://saintannorg.files.wordpress.com/…/39-7th-tone…
Kontakion of Transfiguration: https://saintannorg.files.wordpress.com/…/40-7th-tone…
Hirmos of Transfiguration: https://saintannorg.files.wordpress.com/…/53-hirmos-for…
Kinonikon of Transfiguration: https://saintannorg.files.wordpress.com/…/54-kinonikon…
On the mountain You were transfigured, O Christ our God, and Your Disciples saw as much of Your glory as they could hold, so that when they should see You crucified, they would know that You suffer willingly, and would proclaim to the world that You are the Splendor of the Father. (Kontakion of the Transfiguration)