The Presentation of Christ (Sretenie Gospodne)
The Presentation of Christ
into the Temple is one of the Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church, celebrated on February 2 (15). In Eastern tradition, this feast is also known as The Meeting of Our Lord
(Sretenie Gospodne), in which Saints Simeon and Anna met in the Temple the infant Christ presented by the Mother of God
and Joseph and glorified Him.
According to the Law of Moses, the parents must bring the first born son on his fortieth day to the Temple to be dedicated to God. They also should brought a sacrifice: either a lamb and a dove, or two fledgling doves.
In fulfilment of this law, when Jesus Christ
was forty days old, the Virgin Mary and Joseph brought Him to the Temple in Jerusalem and since they were poor, they brought as a sacrifice two doves. On the same day the old man by name of Simon came to the Temple. For him it was predicted, that he will not die until he sees Christ the Savior and that Jesus would be the "sign which is spoken against" and that he would cause "the fall and the rising of many in Israel."
He took Him in his arms, and glorifying God said, "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 the revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to Thy people Israel.." This was one of the things that Mary "pondered in her heart" - the fact that others recognized that her Son was the Messiah.
In the Temple there was Anna prophetess, 84 years old, and, giving thanks to God "she spoke of Jesus to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem"
Presentation of the Lord is observed on February 2/15.
Troparion of the Feast:
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.