During the Dormition Fast, a strict, two-week fast before the feast of the Falling Asleep of the Most Holy Theotokos, the Holy Church provides its faithful with the joyous feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, when Jesus Christ ascended Mount Tabor in Galilee with his holy Apostles Peter, James and John and was transfigured before them, being accompanied by the Old Testament holy men, Moses and Elias.
The Lord revealed to his apostles his glory as much as they were able to bear. He did this to strengthen them before His holy Passion. As this feast takes place in August, which is the time of the harvest of the first fruits, it is an ancient custom to bless the fruits brought to church by the faithful, to obtain a blessing to partake of God’s bounty.
His Grace, Bishop Luke, abbot of our monastery presided at the polyleos during the Vigil the evening before and was main celebrant at the Divine Liturgy on the feast itself, being co-served by the monastery clergy.
At the end of the service, Vladyka and the clergy proceeded to the entrance of the church to bless the many baskets of fruit brought by the faithful to be blessed. After the dismissal, the brethren and pilgrims sat down to a delicious meal of fish, this being the one day when fish is permitted during the Fast.