The event that initiated this one of the twelve great feasts is, in the spiritual sense, multi-dimensional. The word “meeting” does not convey the main significance of the Church Slavonic understanding of sretenie. Ordinarily those who meet are equals. “But here,” as Metropolitan Benjamin (Fedchenkov) notes, “the Slavonic word, sretenie, is more fitting, for it speaks of the coming out of the lesser to meet the greater; of people coming to meet God” (Letters on the Twelve Great Feasts [Moscow, 2004], 170-1 [Russian]). The event in the Jerusalem temple has particular significance. The Divine Law-Giver Himself, as the firstborn of every creature (Col. 1:15) and as the firstborn of the Virgin (Mt. 1:25) is brought as a gift to God. This symbolic act is as if the beginning of that service, which would end on earth with a great event:
And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel."
Weekly Schedule of Services
~Sunday Feb 12
Sunday of the Prodigal Son / Неделя о блудном сыне
Sts. Basil the Greаt, Gregory Theologian & John Chrysostom