Forefeast of the Entry into the Temple of the Most Holy Theotokos
Commemorated on November 20
The Feast of the Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple has only one day of prefeast. The hymns for today praise St. Anna for bringing her daughter, the living temple of God, to the Temple in Jerusalem.
The three Old Testament readings at Great Vespers refer to the Temple. The first lesson (Exodus 40:1-5, 9-10, 16, 34-35) refers to the arrangement of the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation (a portable sanctuary which was carried by the Israelites in their wanderings). The second lesson (III Kings/I Kings 7:51; 8:1, 3-7, 9-11) describes the dedication of Solomon’s Temple. The third lesson (Ezekiel 43:27-44:4) speaks of the gate of the sanctuary which faces east. God enters through this gate, which is shut so that no one else can enter by it.
Troparion (Tone 4) –
Today Anna bequeaths joy to all instead of sorrow
by bringing forth her fruit, the only ever-Virgin.
In fulfillment of her vow,
today with joy she brings to the temple of the Lord
the true temple and pure Mother of God the Word.
Kontakion (Tone 4) –
Today the universe is filled with joy
at the glorious feast of the Mother of God,
and cries out:
"She is the heavenly heavenly tabernacle."
By permission of the Orthodox Church in America (www.oca.org)