Feast of the Entry of Mary into the Temple, Byzantine Rite – 21 November 2021

Troparion 4

Blessed Theotokos chosen and annointed, presented for service
to God by the Faithful Anne and Joachim, pray for us that we
may have you steadfast faith as we prepare our hearts for

Reading from the Book of Hebrews

Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine
service, and a worldly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle
made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and
the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary.   And after the
second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of
all; Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant
overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot
that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of
the covenant;   And over the cherubims of glory shadowing the
mercy seat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.   Now
when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always
into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.   But
into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not
without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors
of the people:

~Chapter: 9, Verses: 1 to 7

Reading from the Book of Luke

Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a
certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received
him into her house.   And she had a sister called Mary, which also
sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.   But Martha was
cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said,
Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve
alone? bid her therefore that she help me.   And Jesus answered
and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and
troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary
hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from

~Chapter: 10, Verses: 38 to 42

Gospel of Luke

And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman
of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed
is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast
sucked.   But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the
word of God, and keep it.

~Chapter: 11, Verses: 27 to 28


The traditional Thanksgiving celebration at the 21st of
November for the presentation of Mary at the temple by her
parents is widely celebrated across the world of Orthodoxy and
Catholicism. It is often done with much song and dance and
light. It is interesting to note that the birth and early life of the
Virgin Mary is not recorded in the canonical Gospels or new
testament but is found in a widely accepted text known as the
Book of James or Protevangelion.

At three years old, Joachim and Anna had come to fulfill their
promise and to offer her to the Lord. Joachim gathered the
young girls of the neighborhood to form a procession and he
had them go in front of Mary, carrying torches. Fascinated by
the torches, Mary followed joyfully to the Temple, tradition
says, not once looking back at her parents nor weeping as she
was parted from them.
The Holy Virgin ran toward the Temple, into the arms of the
High Priest Zacharias, who was waiting for her at the gate of the
Temple with the elders. Zacharias blessed her saying, “It is in
you that He has glorified your name in every generation. It is in
you that He will reveal the Redemption that He has prepared
for His people in the last days.”
Then, Zacharias brought the child into the Holy of Holies. He
placed her on the steps of the altar, and the grace of the Lord

descended upon her. She arose and filled with joy and danced,
wonder seized all who saw this happen.
The Virgin Mary dwelt in the Temple for nine years until,
reaching an age for marriage, she was taken from the Temple
by the priests and elders and entrusted to Joseph as the
guardian of her virginity.
The Entrance of the future Theotokos into the Temple signifies
her dedication to God and her readiness for her future vocation
as the Mother of the Incarnate Lord. This is a feast of
anticipation. As honor is shown to Mary, all faithful are called
to look forward to the coming Incarnation of Christ, and to
prepare and celebrate the Feast of the Nativity.


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