‘Every church that is beautifully adorned and full of the grace of the Most Holy Trinity is a mount Tabor,’ His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel said on the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord.
During his homily on August 6, the Patriarch of Romania noted that the liturgical space of a church was prefigured by the three shelters that Peter wanted to put up on Mount Tabor.
‘Jesus’ shelter represents the holy altar, Moses’ is the nave, and Elijah’s is the narthex,’ Patriarch Daniel explained.
The three parts of the church’s architecture symbolise our progress to the Kingdom of God, the patriarch said, stressing that we advance from the narthex to the altar, where we receive the Holy Sacraments as a provision for the joy in the Kingdom of God.
Citing different church hymns, His Beatitude noted that ‘the Church is heaven on earth’.
The Feast of the Lord’s Transfiguration is ‘a celebration of the sanctification of man, a feast of the glorification of man by God,’ referring to ‘the humble man who prays, fasts, struggles, and changes his sinful life into a saintly life.’
‘The feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord is a solemnity of our illumination and spiritualization,’ the Patriarch underscored.
Ending his sermon, the patriarch explained why grapes are blessed on the feast of the Transfiguration.
‘Grapes changed their appearance and taste through the light received from the sun. The same way the faithful man changes by the light of Christ, by the grace of the Holy Spirit. From a sinful man he becomes an improved, virtuous, gentle and merciful man.’
‘The man who changes his life becomes a light (kindled) from the light of Christ, a receptacle of light. As the sunflower begins to look like the sun because it receives the light from the sun, so the believer who receives the light of Christ becomes the image of Christ, the sanctified icon of Christ in the world,’ said His Beatitude.
Photography courtesy of Basilica.ro / Mircea Florescu