Illuminate us sinners also with Your everlasting light, through the intercessions of the Theotokos. Synaxarion for the Transfiguration The Scripture Readings for the Feast of the Transfiguration (referenced heavily in the above post) St Gregory Palamas’s Homily on the Transfiguration Gallery of Transfiguration Icons This slideshow requires Java Script.
This entry was posted in Icons of Christ, Icons of the Incarnation, The Saints and tagged Angels, Gallery, Great Feast, Old Testament, St.
Elijah, in animal skins reminiscent of John the Baptist represents the prophets, while Moses represents the Law. The Icon of Theophanes the Greek Theophanes the Greek (Θεοφάνης, ca 1340 – ca 1410) was one of the greatest iconographers in Muscovite Russia, and was noted as the teacher and mentor of the great Andrei Rublev.
From His body, shafts of light are shown striking each of the five others present: to Christ’s right, the Prophet Elijah; to His left Moses; scattered about His feet, the Apostles John, Peter, and James.Theophanes was not the first iconographer to do this: the mountains of Tabor and Sinai/Horeb are different and so it was already common to depict Moses and Elijah standing on different peaks, leaning in toward Christ.What Theophanes emphasizes though, is the distinction between the two Old Testament saints on the one hand, and the Apostles of Christ on the other.The Event and the Process of Transfiguration We heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts In the Gospels, the Transfiguration comes just six days after Christ’s long discourse on the the End of the World, the Last Judgment and the Second Coming of Christ. The Transfiguration, then, is the realization of Jesus’ promise, and so what the Apostles experience is a foretaste of the future life – “the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”, according to St Peter.And at the summit, in prayer, those shafts of divine light can penetrate us too.In later icons, the Apostles are shown in the same “ordered disarray” of the first Sinai mosaic, but their facial expressions are changed from fearful to sleepy (see the 19th century icon below).In Theophanes’ Icon of the Transfiguration, for perhaps the first time in an icon, the ascent and descent of Mt Tabor is shown.This is an important part of the event: Christ did not suddenly transfigure Himself amid His disciples while preaching in Galilee.The mountain on which the Transfiguration took place is identified by St Jerome as Mount Tabor.The mountain plays an important part in divine revelation, as described by Scriptures, and links Moses and Elijah who are miraculously present by Christ’s side. Elijah was told to ascend Mt Horeb (probably an alternative name for Sinai) where he heard the voice of God in the “gentle breeze”.