Wednesday, August 5

Grapes for Transfiguration...



In the Orthodox Church, we get baskets of grapes* (and sometimes other fruits) blessed at the Liturgy for the feast of Transfiguration. I am so excited that our market carried four different types of seedless grapes: Green, Red, Champagne, and Midnight Beauty. We had fun washing them and putting the children's grapes in little pint sized metal baskets this afternoon... we'll probably bring them to church tonight to keep them from sneaking them before they're blessed!

* from the OCA website: The feast of the Transfiguration is presently celebrated on the sixth of August, probably for some historical reason. The summer celebration of the feast, however, has lent itself very well to the theme of transfiguration. The blessing of grapes, as well as other fruits and vegetables on this day is the most beautiful and adequate sign of the final transfiguration of all things in Christ. It signifies the ultimate flowering and fruitfulness of all creation in the paradise of God's unending Kingdom of Life where all will he transformed by the glory of the Lord.

4 comments:

Katherine said...

The quote by the OCA site reminded me of what I read today in Met. Hierotheos Vlachos' book "Feasts of the Lord." He said that since the Transfiguration took place 40 days before the Passion, it would most appropriately be celebrated 40 days before Great and Holy Friday. But since that would fall during Great Lent, the Fathers placed the celebration of Transfiguration on August 6, 40 days before the feast of the Elevation of the Cross on Sept. 14.

Your grapes are beautiful.

Mimi said...

I've heard the same thing as Katherine about the dating of the Feast.

And, beautiful grapes!

Happy Feast Day!

Elizabeth G. said...

It's wonderful that you understand so much about your faith and that you are passing it on to your children.

Blessings,
Elizabeth

Angela said...

What beautiful grapes! I love reading about your "Orthodox Home" posts. In the Presbyterian (PCA) church, we don't celebrate many of the Orthodox Christian holidays, and I really think that's a shame. I love the way the liturgical calendar of the Orthodox church makes faith a daily part of the flow of life. I'd love for us to incorporate more of that into our lives.

We do have a church tradition (not congregation wide, just our church) that I really enjoy - we get together every August as a church and have a blackberry crush, where we make all of the church's communion wine for the year (yes, we use blackberries). When we go out to glean the berries, the act of picking the fruits from the VERY thorny canes is a strong reminder of Christ's suffering, and the crush is a celebration for the community - a physical symbol of Christ crushing sin under His feet by His Victory on the cross.

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