Shudder, O ye heavens! and, O earth, give ear unto these words: God descended once before for our sake He descends again today for His Mother.
–from The Lamentations at the Bier of the Mother of God, Tone 5
O thou most Holy Virgin, who knew not wedlock, the heavens rejoice in thy glorious falling asleep, the hosts of angels are glad, and the whole earth crieth out in joy, singing to thee the funeral song, O Mother of the Lord of all, thou who hast delivered human kind from its ancestral condemnation.
Verily, Christ took Peter, James and John to a high mountain apart. And He was transfigured before them, His countenance shining as the sun, and His clothes became white as light. Moses and Elijah appeared and conversed with Him, and a bright cloud covered them. Then behold, a voice from the cloud said, This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well-pleased; hear Him.
+ Orthros of the Feast, Tone 8
The Feast of the Transfiguration
By Fr. Patrick Reardon
In the biblical narratives of our Lord’s Transfiguration it is easy to discern different points of inclusion and emphasis peculiar to each writer. Only Luke, for instance, mentions that Jesus was praying when He was transfigured, and only Matthew remarks that the disciples “fell on their faces.”
In Mark’s account (9:2-10) one of the most notable features of the Transfiguration is the curious way the evangelist speaks of the arrival of Moses and Elijah. Whereas Matthew and Luke say simply, “Moses and Elijah appeared” on the scene, Mark lays a special stress on Elijah. He writes, “Elijah appeared to them with Moses.” Not only does Mark mention Elijah before Moses, but the verb he uses, “appeared” (ophthe), is singular, not plural. His is an account of the arrival of Elijah, Moses playing a rather secondary role.