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THE PRESENTATION OF JESUS INTO THE TEMPLE
FEAST DAY: 2 February
ICON: The presentation of Jesus takes place inside the Temple and at the altar. The altar is covered by a canopy and has a book on it.
Mary stands to the left and is holding out her hands in a gesture of offering and humility. One of Mary’s hands is covered by her cloak, known as, the maphorion. She has passed Jesus to Simeon.
Jesus is depicted as a child rather than a newborn; He is wearing a dress and his legs are bare. Jesus’ hand is outstretched as if giving a blessing. Simeon holds Jesus with both hands which are covered. This demonstrates the reverence Simeon has for Jesus.
Joseph is behind Mary. He is carrying the two turtle doves for the sacrifice. Anna the Prophetess is also standing behind Mary and is pointing to Jesus.
The Feast of the Presentation of Jesus to the Temple, is written in the Gospel of Luke 2:22-29. It reminds us that Mary and Joseph were dutiful to the Mosaic Law, which required parents to present their first-born son on the fortieth day after his birth to the Temple in Jerusalem, to be dedicated to God. It also reminds us that Mary will dutifully accompany Her son on all His journeys, particularly to the Cross in His final sacrifice for humanity. When Mary presents Jesus to Simeon, he says to her,
"You, O Immaculate One, a sword will pierce your heart when you see your Son on the cross." (Ode VII).
The presentation is also Jesus' first official encounter with His people in the person of Simeon. Simeon is a holy man and a scholar, who studied the Prophets of Israel and believed in the coming of the Messiah. It is said, that while Simeon was praying, he heard the voice of God, who promised Simeon that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah. Simeon takes Jesus in his arms and blesses him, saying:
"Lord, now let Your servant go in peace according to Your promise, because my eyes have seen Your salvation which you have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory to your people Israel."
It was also the custom, that if the parents are wealthy, they bring a lamb and a young pigeon or a turtle dove to be offered as a sacrifice. If the parents are poor, they offer two pigeons or two turtle doves for the sacrifice. Joseph carries two turtle doves to offer as a sacrifice.
Also, in the Temple was Anna the Prophetess. She was a widow and spent her time in the Temple worshiping, fasting, and praying. When she saw Jesus, she praised God and spoke of Jesus to all who were awaiting the Messiah.
The words Simeon spoke when Jesus was presented to him are called St Simeon's Prayer.
In the Melkite Church, and indeed Eastern Churches both baby boys and girls are presented to Church by their parents―with the mother presenting the child―on the fortieth day after their birth in remembrance of Mary and Joseph presenting Jesus to the Temple.
دخول ربّنا وإلهنا ومخلّصنا يسوع المسيح إلى الهيكل
تاريخ العيد: 2 شباط
بهذا العيد تـختم الكنيسة الذكريات الإلهية التي تدور حول الميلاد. إن العذراء مريم، في اليوم الأربعين لولادة ابنها البكر، حملته إلى هيكل أورشليم، بحسب شريعة موسى، لتقدِّمه للرب، وتعود فـتفـتديه، بزوجي يمام أو فرخي حمام، وتتمّ هي أيضاً شريعة تطهير الأمهات.
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