Monday, November 21, 2016

The Presentation of the Virgin Mary 2016

Anne, the divine grace, leads the holy Ever-virgin with gladness into the temple of God, even her who is manifestly full of grace, calling upon the young women bearing lamps to go before her, and saying, “Go, my child, become an offering and sweet incense unto the giver (of grace). Go into the sanctuary, and learn the mysteries, and be prepared to become the dwelling place, full of delight and grace, of Jesus, who giveth great mercy to the world.” (Apostichon from Vespers in the Byzantine Rite.)

The Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple; fresco in the Studenica Monastery in Serbia, ca. 1210. In Byzantine images of this event, the Virgin is represented not as a child, but as a miniature adult, to indicate that the fullness of grace and virtue already resides within Her.
Ἄννα ἡ θεία χάρις σαφῶς χαριτωθεῖσαν τὴν ἁγνὴν Ἀειπάρθενον, προσάγει μετ' εὐφροσύνης, εἰς τὸν Ναὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ, προσκαλεσαμένη προπορεύεσθαι αὐτῆς τὰς νεάνιδας λαμπαδηφόρους, καὶ λέγουσα· Ἄπιθι τέκνον, τῷ δοτῆρι γενήθητι καὶ ἀνάθημα, καὶ εὐῶδες θυμίαμα. Εἴσελθε εἰς τὰ ἄδυτα, καὶ γνῶθι μυστήρια, καὶ ἑτοιμάζου γενέσθαι, τοῦ Ἰησοῦ οἰκητήριον, τερπνὸν καὶ ὡραῖον, τοῦ παρέχοντος τῷ κόσμῳ, τὸ μέγα ἔλεος.

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