Fr. Demetrios Serfes
Son Of GOD,
"The Jesus Prayer"
Spiritual Nourishment For August 1998
The Eastern Orthodox Church commemorates two major feast days in August. The first being on sixth of August, the Holy Transfiguration of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The depiction of the Transfiguration of Christ in Byzantine iconography is fully in harmony with the accounts of this event given in the New Testament: in the Gospels according to Ss. Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and in the Second Epistle of the Apostle Peter. Please read St. Matthew 17:1-9.
The second major feast day is the Holy Dormition ("Falling Asleep") of the Theotokos (Mother of God) is commemorated on the fifteenth of August, after a two week's fast. The celebration is one of the most beloved feasts of the Orthodox Christians everywhere. Please read in Holy Scripture about this holy feast: Acts 1:12-14.
It's a pious custom for the faithful Orthodox Christians to bring grapes to the Church on our Lord's Transfiguration as they are blessed after the services. It's also a pious custom for the Orthodox to bring flowers to the Church for the feast of the Dormition.
Grace is observed in the postures and gestures of the figures of Orthodox iconography. Awkwardness, the opposite of grace, is seen quite rarely. As a rule, awkwardness is employed in order to express and emphasize a certain inner state of the figures depicted. Thus, in the Transfiguration of Christ on Mt. Tabor, the three disciples of Jesus who were present - Peter, James, and John - are shown fallen on the ground in awkward postures. The reason why the artist so depicts them is the fact that, according to the Gospel account of the Transfiguration, they were dazed and overwhelmed by the intense light which emanated from Christ, and frightened by the voice which they heard coming out of a bright cloud saying, This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him (St. Matthew 17:5). The result was that they fell down to the ground abruptly.
May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all! May also the loving intercessions of the Mother of God be before the Throne of our God on our humble behalf. Amen!
In The Love Of Christ Our Lord,