Happy Feast of the Transfiguration!
Here are some "Transfiguration" Fun Facts!
- The “Taboric” light (the light seen on Mt. Tabor) is also called “uncreated light".
- Adam and Eve were covered by it until the fall. Some holy fathers indicated that the loss of the uncreated light which clothed them is why they became aware of their nakedness.
- This was also what was seen in the burning bush by Moses, and later, on the face of Moses after coming down from Mt. Sinai.
- It has also been seen many times since.
- Why do Orthodox Icons look so different? The main two reasons is :
- A perspective painting creates a realistic portrayal of 3D space, but one in which the observer is outside the picture, and the infinite is hidden past the vanishing point. An Icon uses inverse perspective which places infinity inside of the viewer, who is included in the picture.
- Icons use gold and other highly reflective colors that symbolize uncreated light.
- Uncreated light has been experienced throughout Church History. Some recent examples:
- St. Seraphim of Sarov: https://luminousdarkcloud.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/st-seraphim-of-sarov-and-the-vision-of-the-uncreated-light/
- Fr. Adrian Rymarenko (later Archbishop Andrei of New York) saw Elder Nectary of Optina completely covered in a flame while he read from the Gospels.
- St. John of San Francisco was in the altar after a liturgy. His solitude was accidentally disturbed by someone who went to give him a message, who saw him bathed in light....about a foot off the ground.
- Fr. George Calciu (whom I met) experienced the uncreated light in Romanian Concentration camps. He said that it cast no shadow, and was accompanied by healing of body and soul.
- (Here is an account that includes Fr. George's experience of the uncreated light by Frederica Mathewes-Greene. I was present at the talk described).
The uncreated light is experienced by many saints after profound repentance and purification. So we can be encouraged to do the work and run the race of repentance, knowing that enlightenment is ready.
Troparion (main hymn) of Transfiguration:
“Thou was transfigured upon the mount O Christ God, revealing Thy glory to Thy disciples as far as they could bear it. Make Thine everlasting light shine also upon us sinners. Through the prayers of the Theotokos, of giver of light, glory to Thee!”
The Paraklesis to the Theotokos
One of the great blessings of the Dormition fast is coming together to sing the Paraklesis service to the Mother of God. The canon is the same one you may be familiar with from the rule of preparation for Holy Communion but includes other special hymns related to the upcoming feast, including the Exapostilarion (O Apostles from the ends of the Earth).
We will have the last two services tonight and Friday night. If you can’t make it, you can pray with us through the livestream, or even pray/sing/read it with your family. A copy of the service is here:
You can learn to sing the text, by singing along with one of the livestreams:
Upcoming events this month are in the online calendar, which you can subscribe to on your phone or tablet. Use the print button on the calendar to print a copy.
Click below to print a copy of this newsletter: