Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Blessings of the Fruit on my 111th Visit!

Fruit of the Loom Characters
No, not these guys....
photo by Peter Eimon, used under the creative commons license
check out more photos at:
Last night at Vespers (my 111th visit) was a very solemn occasion. We were celebrating  the Transfiguration of the Lord. At first, There was no Icon on the table in the middle of the Nave, just a white cloth. For some reason, I had thought the Icon was underneath the white cloth and that at a specific time, Fr. Gary would unveil it to reveal the Icon. Turns out that Fr Gary walked through the Royal doors to retrieve the Icon from the Altar and then place it on the white sheet. One of my favorite parts is when the choir will sing the same hymn three times while Fr. Gary walks around the Icon and the bread and wine (for the Litya) and incense it all. Very moving.

Fr Gary quoted Jesus Christ Superstar in his homily. Quoting Judas, he asked, 

Now why'd you choose such a backward time
And such a strange land?

If you'd come today
You could have reached the whole nation
Israel in 4 BC had no mass communication

Fr Gary went on to say that they ways of God are a mystery to us and only He knows why He came when He came. He also said, "Why did He only take Peter, James and John to Mt. Tabor? Why not take the pharisees as well. They surely would have believed had the seen Jesus standing next to Moses." I thought that was a good point and one I have never thought of before. But, as Fr Gary said before, the ways of God are a mystery and we should trust Him.  And I do.

I had to rush out of there to pick up my son from work so I didn't get a chance to ask the question, "Why is the fruit blessed during the feast of the Transfiguration?" Can someone answer that for me? It was cool to see people come early to the service and place nice baskets of fruit on the table. Fr. Gary blessed it with Holy water near the end of the service.  Maybe next year, I'll bring my own basket.

Thanks for reading. 


  1. Blessings of the Feast!
    There was a discussion on my Facebook about this very question. I've heard several different answers - one being that it is the First Fruits that are blessed. In addition, traditionally, they were grapes that were blessed (particularly in the Greek and Mediterranean churches) so there is an Eucharistic connection, and that Christ is our true vine.
    In Russia, it's even the Apple Feast, as they didn't have grapes at this time of year and it was apples that were blessed. Our parish does all fruits, as it sounds like is done in yours too.
    Some Central and Eastern European traditions do herbs on this feast.

  2. The summer celebration of the feast, however, has lent itself very well to the theme of transfiguration. The blessing of grapes, as well as other fruits and vegetables on this day is the most beautiful and adequate sign of the final transfiguration of all things in Christ. It signifies the ultimate flowering and fruitfulness of all creation in the paradise of God’s unending Kingdom of Life where all will he transformed by the glory of the Lord. - From the OCA website

    1. I love how in Orthodoxy,EVERYTHING has a meaning!

  3. There is an interesting article on the blessing of the first fruits on Byzantine, TX,

    111th huh? Maybe.... someday....

    YiC, Bill

    1. I'll check it out, thanks,and, yes, 111 and going strong! :)