Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Summer Harvest

And so with Peter, John, and James, 
Our God, whom heaven's hosts proclaim,
Climbs up Mount Tabor, there to pray, 
Where, look! He shines more bright than day.
by Mother Melania, illustrated by Bonnie Gillis

In many Christian denominations, August 6th is the commemoration day of the revealing of Christ's radiant divinity to his disciples, Peter, James and John: the "Feast of the Transfiguration".

Every year our family attends a liturgy for the Transfiguration at our Orthodox parish, where many beautiful scriptures and hymns are read and sung in celebration of this special summer feast day.  And we bring...fruit! 
It is tradition to bless fruits on this day - especially grapes. Why grapes? This is an ancient Christian custom.  At the beginning of  August, farmers used to gather the early fruits of their summer harvest (grapes, figs etc.) and present them in the Church to be blessed and to given freely to the congregation. [source]
These fruits are called the “beginnings”. They show physical transformation and represent a religious transformation (i.e. wine in Holy Communion).  
Two girls in our parish, excitedly watching the blessing,
and waiting for the grapes to be passed out to be eaten
at the end of the service!

The book The Transfiguration of Our Lordfeatured at the top of this post, can be listened to  here, where it is beautifully read by Dr. Chrissi Hart on Ancient Faith Radio's program "Under the Grapevine".

All the books from the "Twelve Great Feasts for Children" series, by Mother Melania (formerly Sister Elayne), can be purchased here, from Ancient Faith Publishing.
(About the "Twelve Great Feasts for Children" series: Glowing watercolor illustrations highlight the beauty of each of the Church's feast days. The simple, psalm-like poems are written especially for children, but the whole family will enjoy them. In the Orthodox Church Year, the Feast of Feasts, in a class by itself, is the Resurrection. After the Resurrection in importance come the twelve Great Feasts. These feasts are the Church’s celebration of, and participation in, key events leading to our salvation. Little books for little hands. 24 pages each.)
Icon of the Transfiguration [source and more information]

No comments:

Post a Comment