Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Entry Of The Holy God-Bearer Into The Temple

The Entry Of The Holy Mother Of God
And Ever-Virgin Mary Into The Temple.

Today is the prelude of God's pleasure and the proclamation of man's salvation. The Virgin is clearly made manifest in the temple of God and foretells Christ to all. Let us also cry out to her with mighty voice, "Hail, fulfillment of the Creator's dispensation."
The most pure Temple of the Savior; the precious Chamber and Virgin; the sacred Treasure of the glory of God, is presented today to the house of the Lord. She brings with her the grace of the Spirit, therefore, the angels of God praise her: "Truly this woman is the abode of heaven."

Agni Parthene.

First Vespereal Reading

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: "On the first day of the first month you shall set up the Tabernacle of the Testimony, and you shall put in it the Ark and cover it with the veil. You shall bring in the table and the lampstand; and you shall set there a golden altar to burn incense before the Ark of the Testimony. And you shall put a covering on the door of the tabernacle of the Testimony. "Then you shall take the oil of anointing and anoint the Tabernacle and all that is in it, and consecrate it and all its vessels; and it shall be holy. And you shall consecrate the Altar for Burnt Offerings; it shall be most holy". And Moses did all that the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel had commanded him. And a cloud covered the Tabernacle of the Testimony and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle. Moses was not able to enter the Tabernacle of the Testimony, because the cloud overshadowed it, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle.

Second Vespereal Reading

And it came to pass when Solomon had finished building the House of the Lord, he assembled all the elders of Israel in Zion, to bring the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord out of the City of David, which is Zion. And the priests took up the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord, the Tabernacle of the Testimony, and all the holy vessels that were in the Tabernacle of the Testimony. And the King and all Israel went before the Ark. And the priests brought the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord to its place, into the Oracle of the Temple, into the Holy of Holies, under the wings of the cherubim. For the cherubim spread out their wings over the place of the Ark so that the cherubim made a covering above the Ark and its holy things above. There was nothing in the Ark except the two tablets of the Covenant which Moses put there at Horeb, when the Lord had made a Covenant. And when the priests came out from the holy place, a cloud filled the house. And the priests were unable to stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord God Almighty filled the house.

On the 21st day of the Ninth month (November), we celebrate the Entrance of the Holy Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary into the Temple. The choosing of the date is completely random. Any similarities with any other celebration, of this or any other religion, are completely coincidental ...


EgoMakarios said...

Why do we not find this sort of language in the writings of the apostles? Mary isn't even mentioned after the gospels, except in Acts 1:14 "These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren" and in Galatians 4:4 (not by name) "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law," and perhaps anonymously grouped with other women somewhere. But if this Theotokos language and so on, Mary being the abode of heaven and temple etc. were proper language, and especially if it really were "apostolic tradition" I would expect some sort of language like it to be used somewhere in at least on of Paul's epistles. If Peter truly was a pope, as I note on my blog, I would expect that he would have used much language in praise to Mary, but he doesn't mention her at all in either of his epistles.

Lucian said...

and especially if it really were "apostolic tradition" I would expect some sort of language like it to be used somewhere in at least on of Paul's epistles.

In this case, please allow me to introduce You to the Apostle read on this day.

Rob said...

Classy response, Lucian.

I was thinking of the importance of the Ark of the Covenant in the OT. Don't you think re-reading Joshua and the books of Kings (Samuel), and marking the similarities between the Ark and Mary, would be good advice?

Also, Egomakarios, while Mary isn't mentioned after that point in Acta, you will note that this means she is among those present, with the apostles, during the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. She is not forgotten.

Furthermore, remember that Jesus entrusts Mary to John at the end of his earthly life. Why would the Evangelist have "wasted" words on Mary, if she wasn't important?

Also, ask yourself if you really accept the Lord as the King. If He is King, then his mother is queen. This is the ancient, eastern way of queenship, which was not determined by marriage, but rather by motherhood. Note that in the books of Kings, when they list kings of Judah and the Northern kingdom, the king is mentioned first, and then, almost always, his mother.

Since we do not believe that the "dead" are really dead, but rather alive in Christ, then the Lord's mother is still alive, and still merits the high display of honor as given by Solomon to his mother in the OT.

Altough, when it comes down to it, it is her role as God-bearer, that which contains the Word of God, that is probably the most important reason for her veneration in Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, and in some Anglican and Lutheran circles.