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Mtalé - Transfiguration

Transfiguration, known in Syriac as the Feast of Booths, commemorates the appearing of the Lord in glory during His earthly life (Mt 17:1-13; Mk 9:2-13; Luk 9:28-36). This vision of the Lord, transfigured with Moses and Elijah, was witnessed by Saints Peter, James and John. According to the Syrian Orthodox tradition, this took place on Mount Tabor.

The observance of this feast is relatively not ancient in the Syriac Orthodox Church. It must have been included in the feasts of the church in around the year 1000 A.D. The Book of Ma`de`dono (the Book of Church Festivals), does not contain a special service for this feast in contrast to the other feasts of our Lord. The feast is celebrated on August 6th.

The following hymn is from the Phanqitho, the annual hymnal book:

Qolo: Quqoyo

"We ought to make three booths (i.e., dwellings)", said Simon.
"One for our Lord, one for Moses and one for Elijah."
Suddenly, a cloud was seen which signifies the Holy Church.
Moses and Elijah flew on it to the place full of life,
And the Church traveled after them while singing praise:
Halleluiah to the Son of God.


The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, 3rd ed. (1997).

The Book of Phanqitho, vol 3. (1963).

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Last Update: May 21, 1998