August 19 (August 6, old style) Orthodox Church celebrates one of the most important Christian holidays – Transfiguration of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The Transfiguration of Christ refers to the twelve great (to 12 main Orthodox holidays), the most important after Easter-related events from the life of Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The holiday was established in memory Transfiguration of Jesus Christ to the disciples on Mount Tabor, as told three Evangelists – Matthew, Mark and Luke. All three synoptic Gospels contain very similar descriptions of the Transfiguration. How to describe the Gospel, shortly before his crucifixion, Jesus Christ, taking with him three disciples – Peter and the brothers Zebedee, James and John, went to the area of Caesarea Philippi within the Galilee. Stopping at Mount Tabor, overlooking the hills of Galilee, Jesus prayed. Tire the apostles fell asleep, as it is written in the Gospel: “Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep.” Waking up, they saw that Jesus Christ has changed: he was surrounded by the radiance of his face shone like the sun, His clothes became as white as snow, and shone as the light. Beside him stood two Old Testament prophets – Moses and Elijah, who spoke with the Lord about his near departure.
Next Gospel tells us that the conversation hit a white cloud, from which came the voice of God: “This is the Son My Beloved, listen to him. ” Vision ended. Pupils in fear fell to the ground. Jesus came to them and touched them and said, “Stand up, be not afraid.” Pupils then got up and saw Jesus already in the ordinary form. With Jesus Christ, they came down from the mountains in the morning and returned to Capernaum. Christ commanded not to tell anyone about what they saw – as long as he did not rise from the dead.
As for establishing the chronology of the holiday, the historic liturgy there are versions of its extremely ancient origin ” With 900 years it is celebrated in the Byzantine Empire as the Transfiguration of the Savior … “. It is more likely that the subject festival was set up in the IV century: Equal to the Apostles at this time Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, erected on Mount Tabor church in honor of the Transfiguration. And for a while it was in Palestine Transfiguration local celebration. Only with the V century celebration became widespread in the Christian East.
It is believed that the feast of the Transfiguration reminds people of the need for spiritual transformation. The Church teaches that our Savior Transfiguration allowed people to witness firsthand the transformation that awaits man in the kingdom of God. Christ is preparing students for his death; they had to see him in glory, not to waver in their hour of need.
In the East, the beginning of August ripen cereals and grapes that Christians bring to the temple for a blessing as a sign of gratitude to God for his love, for giving generous harvest. Part of the crop in the first century Christians donated to the temple for the sacrament of the Eucharist (communion). Ancient custom to consecrate the fruits dates back to the VIII century.
In Russian folk tradition Transfiguration is called the second or Apple Spas, because on that day sanctified apples – the most common fruit in Russia.
Especially for this apples whole day drove carts, and each more or less well-off people considered it his duty to distribute the fruits of the poor and sick. Until that day, was not supposed to eat apples and all garden vegetables except cucumbers. From this day, allowed to eat apples and fruit, sanctification which is held at the end of liturgy.
In the Orthodox calendar, the festival falls on the Dormition Fast, but for the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord church rule weakens the rigor of fasting and allow for fish meal .
Apple Spas is mentioned as a “meeting of the Fall”, because about from this day in Russia it gets cold at night.
The material is based on information of open source