Feast of the Transfiguration


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Transfiguration, Feast of the

August 6
As described in the first three Gospels, when Jesus' ministry was coming to an end, he took his three closest disciples—Peter, James, and John—to a mountaintop to pray. While he was praying, his face shone like the sun and his garments became glistening white. Moses (symbolizing the Law) and Elijah (symbolizing the prophets) appeared and began talking with him, testifying to his Messiahship. Then a bright cloud came over them, and a voice from within the cloud said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him." The disciples were awestruck and fell to the ground. When they raised their heads, they saw only Jesus (Matthew 17).
Observance of this feast began in the Eastern church as early as the fourth century, but it was not introduced in the Western church until 1457. It is observed by Roman Catholics, Orthodox Christians, Lutherans, and Anglicans; most Protestants stopped observing it at the time of the Reformation. The mountaintop on which the Transfiguration took place is traditionally believed to be Mount Tabor, a few miles east of Nazareth in Galilee. However, many scholars believe it was Mount Hermon, or even the Mount of Olives.
SOURCES:
DaysCustFaith-1957, p. 201
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 490
OxYear-1999, p. 324
RelHolCal-2004, p. 99
SaintFestCh-1904, p. 358
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