We are quickly approaching one of the major feast days - the Presentation of the Theotokos celebrated on November 21/December 4. (The feast is also called the "Entrance of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple" or the "Feast of the Entrance".) I would like to share some of the hymns we will be singing this coming Saturday (as well on Dec. 4 in San Diego) and a brief reflection or two.
It's quite interesting to note the vivid "language imagery" that is used, as this feast is seen as a "preview of the good will of God" and a certain "anticipation" - this feast is seen as part and parcel of the Gospel events. It would seem fitting that this feast is celebrated during the Nativity fast as a certain preview and anticipation of that which is to come.
- Today is the preview of the good will of God,
- Of the preaching of the salvation of mankind.
- The Virgin appears in the temple of God,
- In anticipation proclaiming Christ to all.
- Let us rejoice and sing to her: Rejoice,
- O Divine Fulfillment of the Creator's dispensation.
Never shy of paradoxes, in this Kontakion we see the Temple and abode of heaven brought to the temple:
- The most pure Temple of the Savior;
- The precious Chamber and Virgin;
- The sacred Treasure of the glory of God,
- Is presented today to the house of the Lord.
- She brings with her the grace of the Spirit,
- Therefore, the angels of God praise her:
- "Truly this woman is the abode of heaven."
Today, let us dance, O faithful,
singing to the Lord in psalms and hymns
and honoring His sanctified Tabernacle, the living Ark,
that contained the Word Who cannot be contained;
for in wondrous fashion she is offered to the Lord
as a young child in the flesh,
and Zachariah, the great High Priest, joyfully receives her
as the dwelling place of God.
These are only a few of the hymns we will be singing. Lots of deep things on which to ponder and to reflect. Blessed feast to all!