The Meeting of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ

This feast commemorates the bringing of Jesus Christ to the temple by the Most Holy Mary, after the fulfillment of the days of purification ( Lk. 2:22-39), established in the law of Moses (Lev. 12:2-8; Ex. 13:2, 13; Num. 3:13, 8:16-18) with an offering for
redemption consisting of 5 shekels (1 rubles 70 kopeks to 2 rubles (881.45 grains US Avoirdupois)). Although the Immaculate Virgin had no need of purification, she nonetheless came to the temple to fulfill the law. In the temple the Child was met by the righteous Simeon (see Feb. 3). In sacred joy the holy elder sings praise and thanksgiving to God, having fulfilled the expectation of his heart, and, inspired with the feeling of unearthly blessing, takes the Child in his embrace and in the decline of his days utters the wonderful words, which the Holy Church repeats daily in the Vespers hymn at sunset: Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy Word, for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to Thy people Israel (Lk. 2:29-32). Hearing these words, Joseph and Mary marveled at them for these words clearly witnessed that the mystery of God was already revealed to the righteous Simeon. Continuing then his divinely inspired prophesy, the righteous elder turned to Mary and pointing to the Child, said: “Behold, this Child is set for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through Thine own soul also), that the thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed (Lk. 2:34-35) _). While the holy elder uttered his prophetic speech about the Divine Child, the
Righteous Anna was in the temple (see Feb. 3). She also added her inspired voice
to the voice of Simeon, giving glory to God and, as a prophetess, probably,
prophesying about the Child in a prophetic sense. Having fulfilled in the temple all
that was required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary returned to Nazareth with
the Divine Child.

Celebrating the Meeting of the Lord, the Holy Church, confessing and asserting that “Christ revealed Himself to the world not as an opinion, a phantom, but in truth”, accuses those ancient false teachers who rejected the human nature in Jesus Christ, considering this to be unworthy and untrue of God. Together with this example of the Savior and His Immaculate Mother, who all that was required by the law, inspires us to fulfill the rules and rites of the Holy Church and reminds us of our churching in the Church of Christ, about our consecration to God, to Whom we also should bring our souls and bodies as a living sacrifice, pure and full of grace. Besides this the Holy Church, singing of Sts. Simeon and Anna on this feast, inspires us to find according to the example of the Righteous Simeon, graceful comfort and salvation in Christ, entrusting to Him a beneficial meditation on his life and death, and by the example of the Prophetess
Anna, as often as possible, to visit the temple of God and thank the Lord with
prayers and fasting. Finally, the feast of the Meeting teaches us, in the afflictions
that overtake us, to turn to the Lord God, the ever quick Helper and Protector of all
who call on Him with faith and true repentance.

From the  Handbook for Church Servers,S. V. Bulgakov, 2nd ed. 1274 pp. (Kharkov, 1900) pp. 61-64

 


Hymns from the Menaion and the Great Horologion
Dismissal Hymn. First Tone
REJOICE, thou who art full of grace, O Virgin Theotokos, for from thee hath risen the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, enlightening those in darkness. Rejoice, thou also, O righteous Elder, as thou receivest in thine arms the Redeemer of our souls, Who also granteth unto us the Resurrection.
Kontakion. First Tone
THOU Who didst sanctify the Virgin’s womb by Thy birth, and didst bless Symeon’s hands as was meet by anticipation hast even now saved us, O Christ God. But grant peace in the midst of wars unto Thy commonwealth and strengthen the hierarchs whom Thou hast loved, O only friend of man.
OIKOS 
LET US hasten to the Theotokos, we who wish to see her Son brought unto Symeon. When the incorporeal powers looked on Him out of Heaven, they were astonished, saying: Now do we see strange and wondrous things, incomprehensible and inexpressible. He that made Adam is carried as a babe; the Uncontainable is held in the arms of the Elder; He that abideth uncircumscribed
in the bosom of His Father is willingly circumscribed in the flesh, but not in His Godhead, even the only Friend of man.
SYNAXARION
On the second of this month we celebrate the Meeting of our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ in the Temple, wherein the righteous Symeon received Him into his arms.
Verses
The hands of righteous Symeon, as they bear Thee,
Depict, O my Christ, the bosom of Thy Father.
On the second, Symeon received Christ in the Temple.
Unto the very God be glory and dominion unto the ages.
Text: The Great Horologion © 1997 The Holy Transfiguration Monastery Brookline, Massachusetts 02445
The Menaion © 2005 The Holy Transfiguration Monastery Brookline, Massachusetts 02445

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