This translation of the office for 5 August only contains the texts for the Forefeast. I have added a number of footnotes containing the references to biblical passages alluded to in the texts.
One curious feature of Matins is the presence of a Triode. One would rather have expected one at Compline. The Irmi of the main Canon are those of the Mother of God.
the 5th of the month
Forefeast of the
Holy Transfiguration of our Lord and God and Saviour, Jesus Christ; and
commemoration of the Holy Martyr Efsignios.
At Lord, I
have cried, we insert 6 stichera, and sing 3 prosomia of
4. You have given as a sign.
Come, let us go
up with Jesus, as he ascends the holy mountain, and there let us hear the voice
of the living God, the Father without beginning, which through a cloud of light
bears witness by the divine Spirit to the truth of his eternal Sonship, and
enlightened in mind, in light we shall see light.
Come, let us
dance beforehand, purify ourselves and faithfully prepare ourselves for the
divine ascent of the exalted life of God, that we may become spectators of his
majesty, and attain the glory which the leaders of the Apostles were allowed to
see mystically on Mount Thabor.
Come now, having
undergone the greater change, let us prepare ourselves well to approach the holy
mountain of God as we contemplate the unchanging glory of Christ blazing forth
more brightly than the sun, and made radiant by the triple light, in it let us
glorify his condescension.
Glory. Both now. Tone 5.
Come, let us go
up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of our God, and let us
contemplate the glory of his Transfiguration, glory as of the only-begotten of
the Father. By light let us receive light; and let us, borne aloft in spirit,
hymn the consubstantial Trinity to the ages.
the Aposticha, prosomia.
with the light of the virtues, let us go to the holy mountain to see the divine
Transfiguration of the Lord
Verse: Yours are the
heavens and yours is the earth; you have founded the inhabited world and its
Cross, Christ shows an inspired sign of his Godhead to his initiates, shining
out to-day on the mountain like the sun.
Verse: Thabor and
Hermon will rejoice in your name.
better the nature he took from Adam, Christ now ascends Thabor, baring his
Godhead to his initiates.
Glory. Both now. Tone 2.
Christ our God,
transfigured on mount Thabor in glory, and showing your Disciples the glory of
your Godhead, illumine us also with the light of your knowledge, and guide us in
the path of your commandments,
as you alone are good and love humankind.
Tone 4. Speedily anticipate.
us believers, as we radiantly celebrate the forefeast, go out to meet the
Transfiguration of Christ, and let us cry, ‘The day of joy inspired is near;
the Master ascends mount Thabor to make the beauty of his Godhead blaze
After the first
Reading from the Psalter, Kathisma of the Forefeast.
4. Speedily anticipate.
A day of joy has now come for the faithful, day of the divine, and glorious Transfiguration of Christ our God. So let us all be made radiant to glorify worthily in songs inspired his mighty works, by which, shining out as God, he enlightened the world.
Both. The same.
the second Reading, Kathisma.
Let all of us believers go up to Mount Thabor together with Christ’s chosen Disciples, and let us in mind contemplate his Transfiguration, and let us glorify his supreme condescension towards us, through which he grants the world eternal life.
Then the Canons
of the Forefeast and of the Saint.
Canon of the Forefeast, of which the Acrostic is the Alphabet.
Ode 1. Tone 4. I will open my mouth.
Light of heaven, blaze out from below more
brightly than the sun; and earth give ear to the words of the living God; for
the Father will bear witness on mount Thabor to the One transfigured, of his
To sight a mortal, but God in hiddenness,
Christ ascends Thabor to lay bare the radiance of his Godhead by the splendours
of his glory which shines more brightly than the sun.
Christ knowingly now goes forward to
appear to Moses and to reveal his ineffable glory on mount Thabor, by conversing
with him directly face to face.
Let us today with gladness celebrate the forefeast.
And the Canon of the Saint.
Then the Triode of the Forefeast.
As we, the faithful, celebrate this day of
the forefeast of the Transfiguration of Christ our Redeemer, let us clap our
hands and sing.
As we have reached the entry of the holy
Transfiguration of Christ, let us too blaze with divine changes as we welcome
If we possess a high mountain, a heart
purified of passions, we shall see the Transfiguration of Christ enlightening
Let us all worship a Trinity of distinct
persons, a Unity, a divine nature, the Father without beginning, the Son and the
Let all of us the faithful sing the praise
as truly Mother of God of the blameless Maiden, from whom Christ our God came
forth in the flesh without change.
Forefeast. Ode 3. O Mother of
You, the Master of all creation, appeared
having taken the form of a servant,
in which you revealed the unapproachable brightness of your Godhead to the
Disciples, as far as they could look upon it.
Christ the sun of glory hastens to blaze
forth on the mountain and to darken by his light the beacon which shines from on
high. Made radiant by his beams, let us today celebrate the forefeast.
About to fulfil the words of eternal life
Christ is present; as by deeds he shows that he was well-pleased for his friends
to recognize in himself the Father’s glory blazing forth.
Kathisma of the Saint.
Both now. Of the Forefeast.
The Sun of glory has appeared, has blazed
forth the rays of the Godhead to those in darkness,
as he goes up to Thabor. Let us honour his light-bearing coming.
the Forefeast. Ode 4. The One
seated in glory.
The heavenly choir joins in gladness those
on earth and feasts in advance the shining out of the Giver of light, which he
will make to blaze beyond compare, surpassing the mortal form on Thabor; as he
By your coming as God and man you spoke
with men, and by a multitude of wonders you mystically illumined the world, by
the blazing glory of your Godhead you shone forth supremely on Thabor with
Jesus, the offspring of Nave, of old
stopped the sun,
prefiguring the day of the divine Passion; while you, Saviour and Lord, before
your honoured Cross, hid the brightness of the sun with the radiance of your
Of the Saint.
the Forefeast. Ode 5. The
universe was amazed.
Rejoicing in the Lord, let us faithfully
follow him; for see, he is going up to the mount, taking with him the chosen
initiates, to whom he will show his glory as he shines more brightly than the
sun with unapproachable beauty.
Let heaven shine more radiantly today; for
see, Christ will ascend the mount, from where he will blaze with infinite light,
as giver of light darkening the rays of the sun with the glory of the Godhead.
Christ shows his Disciples a mystery on
Thabor as with his face he shines beyond radiance, and through the raiment of
his garments he becomes shining white as snow,
the One who is clothed in light as in a garment,
as the Psalmist says.
Of the Saint.
the Forefeast. Ode 6. Come,
Making ready for his friends the bridal
chamber of glory of the joy to come Christ ascends the mountain, bringing them
up from a lowly life on earth to a way of life high above the world.
Astonishing the minds of the Disciples,
Christ made the radiance of heaven blaze out on earth, placing beside him in the
manner of servants the leaders of the Law and the Prophets, by whom, both dead
God is witnessed to.
Christ the lamp now begins to appear in a
parched place with the rays of the divine lightning. Let us journey towards his
brilliance, rejoicing in the radiance of his face.
Of the Saint.
Kontakion of the Forefeast.
In the divine Transfiguration all mortal
nature divinely shines forth today, as with gladness it cries: Christ is
transfigured, saving all.
Another, of the Saint.
On the 5th of the month, Forefeast of the
holy Transfiguration of our Lord and God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, and
commemoration of the holy Martyr Efsignios.
On the same day Saints Kattidios and
Kattidianos, Martyrs and blood brothers, died by being stoned.
On the same day Saint Nonna, the mother of
St Gregory the Divine, died in peace.
On the same day Saint Soleb the Egyptian
was pierced by an arrow [belos] and died.
If backwards, Soleb, you
should spell your name,
On the same day the holy Bishop and Martyr
Fabius (or Fabian), Bishop of Rome, died by the sword.
At the prayers of your Saints, O God, have
mercy on us. Amen.
the Forefeast. Ode 7. The godlike
Let us now follow Christ as he leads the
chosen Disciples to a height of soul far above the world, as we contemplate
strange sights. Filled with amazement let us cry out with them: Blessed are you,
Having cleansed sullied mortal nature by
water and fire,
in your own flesh, you show, O Saviour, its splendour by your face, as you shine
more brightly than the sun, as a figure of the glory to come.
Let us go up with Christ to the holy
mountain, as he takes with him the sons of Zebedee and Peter, the leader, whom
he chose as witnesses of his own glory as they cried: Blessed are you, O God!
Of the Saint.
Forefeast. Ode 8. The
Offspring of the Mother of God.
Who would not be amazed, O Word, Sovereign
of all, at the majesty of your glory? Which, when transfigured, you showed to
your friends as you surrounded them with divine splendours. With them make us
who sing your praise radiant by your light, as we celebrate the forefeast.
Grant the height of a heavenly way of life
and the divine brilliance of the eternal glory to your servants, who now
celebrate the radiant festival of your Transfiguration; on which, blazing with
light, you make radiant those who sing your praise, Christ the giver of light.
You are light and giver of unapproachable
and eternal light, Lord without beginning, who wrap yourself in light as in a
garment; you shed light on the world when you came with flesh; and you blaze
with light on the mountain revealing the imprint of the Father’s glory.
Of the Saint.
Triode of the Forefeast. Christ the King.
The present day of the radiant
Transfiguration of the Lord, shining beforehand on the world, urges us to cry
out: All you his works praise and highly exalt Christ to the ages.
Come, believers, let us go towards the
holy mountain, to see the all-radiant Transfiguration of Christ; for it
illumines all who glorify it to the ages.
Today let us go in advance to meet the
Transfiguration of Christ with pure heart, and let us cry to him: All you his
works, praise and highly exalt him to all the ages.
The one Godhead in three persons which is
proclaimed together, Father, Son and all-holy Spirit, all you works praise and
highly exalt to all the ages.
O fearsome wonder! How is a virgin, child
of God, a mother and how does she give birth to the Master of heaven and earth?
Him then, all you his works, praise and highly exalt to all the ages!
the Forefeast. Ode 9. Let all
born of earth.
Heaven rejoices as it now perceives
dawning from earth the unsetting Sun, which is about to dim the radiance of the
sun by divine glory. Earth dances radiantly, resplendent with heavenly
brightness it becomes light.
David in psalms foretold your
Transfiguration: Who will be likened to you, Lord, he said, among the sons of
God? For you are glorified in the counsels of the Saints, you appeared great
among those around you,
fearful in the glory of your divine form.
O Word of God, wisdom and power and
of the Father. O God, so known to believers and acknowledged as man, count us
worthy to celebrate the radiant festival of your Transfiguration, and to shine
out with the light of good works.
Of the Saint.
Triode of the Forefeast. You that knew not wedlock
As we celebrate this day which precedes
your all-glorious and all-shining Transfiguration, Lord, in hymns we magnify
Transformed to the fair transformation by
the Transfiguration of Christ, let us be found shining with light by our good
deeds as we magnify it.
Standing at the threshold of the glorious
Transfiguration of the Lord, let us be made spiritually radiant in our minds as
we magnify it.
Essence in Trinity and Unity, with all
authority, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in hymns we magnify you.
Most holy Mother of God, higher than the
hosts on high, O alone pure of all creation, in hymns we magnify you.
the Forefeast. With the Disciples let us go.
We who desire wholly the divine glory, let
us cut away the fog of what is earthly and fleshly, as raised high above earth
we ascend mount Thabor; and let us hasten to be found worthy to share with Moses
and Elias and the princes of the Apostles in the divine and unapproachable
radiance, receiving light by light.
At the Aposticha, Prosomia of the Forefeast.
As we go beforehand to meet the all-holy,
glorious Transfiguration, on this present day we glorify Christ who refigured
our nature with the fire of the Godhead and made it blaze with incorruption as
Verse: Mercy and truth
have met; justice and peace have kissed.
Come, let us ascend the holy mountain and
let us look upon the all-shining Transfiguration of the Lord, as we faithfully
worship him and say: You alone are our God, who became incarnate and made the
Verse: Lord, they will
walk in the light of your face.
This is the day of the forefeast, after
which Christ is transfigured in the presence of Moses and Elias and his
Disciples on mount Thabor; while the divine voice speaks: This is truly my
Both now. Tone 5.
Seeing you in the cloud, O Christ, Moses,
who saw God, and Elias, the fiery charioteer and traveller to heaven unconsumed
by fire, bore witness at your Transfiguration to you as maker and fulfiller of
Law and Prophets. With them, Master, count us also worthy of your illumination,
to sing your praise to the ages.
Cf. Psalm 35:10. Some editions of the Menaion have a subjunctive, ‘let
us/may we see’. The Psalter has the indicative. The subjunctive in the
third sticheron suggests that the original text may have had a subjunctive
Cf. Exodus 33:11.
In the Gospel this comparison is used of the Angels at the resurrection,
Matthew 28:3, not of the Transfiguration.
Moses died before entering the Promised Land; Elias was taken up alive into
heaven on a fiery chariot.
An allusion to the tradition that fire appeared in the Jordan at the moment
of Christ’s baptism.
Cf. 1 Timothy 6:16.
Cf. Hebrews 1:3.
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This page was last updated on 10 May 2009