Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Orthodox Church Marks Transfiguration of Jesus

Orthodox Church marked Transfiguration of Jesus yesterday. As InterpressNews was reported in the Patriarchate of Georgia, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia His Holiness and Beatitude Ilia II conducted a mass regarding the date in St Sameba (Trinity) church at 01:00 am. The Transfiguration of Jesus is an event reported by the Synoptic Gospels in which Jesus was transfigured upon a mountain. The original Greek term in the Gospels is metamorphothe, describing Jesus as having undergone metamorphosis. The Gospels state that Jesus led three of his apostles - Peter, John the Apostle, and James the Great - to pray at the top of a mountain. Once at the top, Jesus became transfigured, his face shining like the sun, and his clothes a brilliant white. They claim that Elijah and Moses suddenly appeared with Jesus and talked with him; Matthew and Mark do not say what the conversation was about, but Luke states that it was about Jesus' future death. Once they had spoken with each other, the Gospels state that a bright cloud appeared overhead, and a voice from Heaven proclaimed, ‘This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased,’ paralleling a similar event during the Baptism of Jesus.In the narrative, after the cloud dissipates, Elijah and Moses disappear, and Jesus and the three Apostles head down the mountain, Jesus telling his Apostles to keep the event a secret until a/the Son of Man had risen from the dead. The Apostles are described as questioning among themselves as to what Jesus meant by ‘risen from the dead’ (Mark 9:9-10). In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Feast of the Transfigurationcommemorates this event. It is one of the twelve Great Feasts in the liturgical year of the Eastern Orthodox Church and is observed by it on August 6. Traditionally, fruit is brought to church to be blessed on this day. The Transfiguration falls during the Dormition Lent, but fish, wine and oil are allowed to be consumed on this day in recognition of the feast.The Roman Catholic Church also observes the feast on August 6, as do the churches of the Anglican Communion.Some Protestant churches observe Transfiguration Sunday on the last Sundayafter the Epiphany (January 6), which places it somewhere in February or March.

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