We have just finished the Vigil Service for the Meeting of the Lord. This is an event in our Lord’s life that should truly inspire our awe and wonder. The following selections from the service say more than any of my own words could:
O Thou Who didst hallow the Virgin’s womb by Thy birth and didst bless the hands of Symeon as was meet, by anticipation Thou hast even now saved us, O Christ God. But in the midst of battle grant peace to Thy community, and strengthen the Orthodox Christians whom Thou hast loved, O Thou Who alone lovest mankind.
Let the gates of heaven be opened today; for the unoriginate Word of the Father, receiving a beginning under time, without abandoning His divinity, is of His own will borne by His Virgin Mother into the temple of the law as a babe forty days old. And Symeon taketh Him in his arms, crying: “Let Thy servant depart, O Master, for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation! O Lord Who hast come into the world to save the human race, glory be to Thee!”
He Who loveth mankind, fulfilling the law of the Scriptures, is now borne into the temple; and the elder Symeon receiveth Him in his arms, crying: “Now Thou lettest me depart to Thy blessedness, for today I have seen clad in mortal flesh Him Who hath dominion over life and mastery over death!”
Without being separated from the bosom of the Father in Thy divinity, incarnate, as Thou didst so will, Thou wast held in the embrace of the Ever-virgin, and wast given into the arms of Symeon the God-receiver, O Thou Who holdest all things in Thy hands. Wherefore, he cried aloud with joy: “Now Thou lettest me, Thy servant, depart in peace, for I have seen Thee, O Master!”
Divine Liturgy will be at 8am tomorrow!