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The Presentation of Mary to the Temple

An icon of the Presentation of Mary to the Temple.

THE ICON

St. Joachim - the father of Mary is on the right; an elderly man with white hair and beard.

St. Anna - the mother of Mary is second from the right, an elderly woman robed in red

The Theotokos - shown as an infant; the central figure. Also in the upper left corner living in the temple being ministered to by angels

High Priest Zachariah - the figure on the extreme left; an elderly man with white hair and beard.

Figures - other women who lived in the Temple precincts

THE FEAST

The main theme of the feast of Mary's entrance into the Temple, repeated many times in the liturgical services, is the fact that she enters the Temple to become herself the living Temple of God, thus inaugurating the New Testament in which is fulfilled the prophecies of old that "the dwelling of God is with man" and that the human person is the sole proper dwelling place of the Divine Presence (Ezekiel 37:27; John 14:15-23).

Thus, the feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple is the feast which celebrates the end of the physical temple in Jerusalem as the dwelling place of God. When the child Mary enters the temple, the time of the temple comes to an end and the "preview of the good will of God" is shown forth. On this feast, we celebrate -- in the person of Christ's mother -- that we too are the house and tabernacle of the Lord.

TROPARION

TODAY IS THE PRELUDE OF THE GOOD WILL OF GOD, OF THE PREACHING OF THE SALVATION OF MANKIND. THE VIRGIN APPEARS IN THE TEMPLE OF GOD, IN ANTICIPATION PROCLAIMING CHRIST TO ALL, LET US REJOICE AND SING TO HER: REJOICE, FULFILLMENT OF THE CREATOR'S DISPENSATION!

KONTAKION

THE MOST PURE TEMPLE OF THE SAVIOR; THE PRECIOUS CHAMBER AND VIRGIN, THE SACRED TREASURE OF THE GLORY OF GOD, IS PRESENTED TODAY TO THE HOUSE OF THE LORD. SHE BRINGS WITH HER THE GRACE OF THE SPIRIT, WHICH THE ANGELS OF GOD DO PRAISE. TRULY THIS WOMAN IS THE ABODE OF HEAVEN!