Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Preview & Anticipation of God's Will.

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."
Here she is referred to as the "precious Chamber" and the "sacred Treasure". The Mother of God is also often called "more spacious than the heavens" as she bore Him whom heaven could not contain.

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!

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