The Feast of the Entrance into the Temple of Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary is celebrated this Wednesday, December 4.
Since early days the Church has given to the Mother of God titles of holiness greater than those which are given to any saint. She is called the All-holy, Panagia. We venerate Her as One who is greater and holier than the Cherubim and the Seraphim, greater than the angels of God who, endowed with vision, can see, contemplate and adore, greater than the angels of God who are, as it were, the throne of the Most High. Because the ones as the others see, worship, serve God as their Lord, as their Master, and yet somehow they remain farther from Him than She, who in Her exceeding holiness has become the kin of God, has become the Mother of the Incarnate Word, who is the Bride, the perfect revelation of what the whole creation is called to be and to become.
The birth and early life of the Virgin Mary is not recorded in the Gospels or other books of the New Testament, however this information can be found in a work dating from the second century known as the Book of James or Protoevangelion.
Tradition has it that the parent of the Virgin Mary could not have children. Despite this, they never lost hope or faith and made an oath to God that they would dedicate their child to Him, if God gives them one. God heard their prayers and Joachim and Anna were given a child. When Mary was three years old, her parents fulfilled their promise by giving her up to live and be raised in the Temple. Their fulfilling this oath is what we will celebrate .
The services for this holiday are as follows. The vigil begins at . There will be two liturgies . The early liturgy starts at and the late liturgy begins at . Attendance is mandatory. As you may know, there will be no classes , and students are welcome to attend services at their home parishes.
Please accept my congratulations on this wonderful holiday.
Rev. Sergey Kiryukhin