Celebrated August 6
Transfiguration is one of the 12 Great Feasts in the Orthodox Church. Transfiguration is the story in Luke 9 & Matthew 19, when Jesus took Peter, John, and James and up on a mountain to pray, and as He prayed, He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. Two men appeared and talked with Him: Moses and Elijah; who appeared in glory and spoke of His death which He was about to occur. But Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep; and when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men who stood with Him. Then, as they were leaving from Him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were fearful as they entered the cloud. And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. They told no one any of the things they had seen.
In the hymn sung during the service, the church offers a beautiful explanation: “Thou was transfigured on the mountain, O Christ our God, and Thy disciples beheld Thy glory as far as they were capable, that when they should see Thee crucified, they might know that Thy suffering was voluntary and might proclaim to the world that Thou art indeed the reflection of the Father.” + Kontakion for Transfiguration