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Sunday, May 22, 2022
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The Feast of the Ypapanti of the Lord

Fr. Konstantinos Koutroubas
Fr. Konstantinos Koutroubas
Father Konstantinos Koutroubas Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church

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February 2, is the feast of the Presentation or Meeting of the Lord in the Temple (Ypapanti in Greek).

 
This is a wonderful, wonderful, joyful, hopeful feast day. It is one of the major feast days of the liturgical calendar year. It is the 40th day after Christmas, when we celebrate Christ being brought, presented, to the Temple in Jerusalem by the Panagia and Saint Joseph. He was met at the Temple by the elder and righteous Saint Simeon and the prophetess Saint Anna (another Saint Anna, not the Mother of the Theotokos). Saint Simeon, in deep old age, was awaiting the expectation of the Messiah. It had been revealed by the Holy Spirit to Simeon that he would not die until he had seen the prophecy of the Prophet Isaiah fulfilled with his own physical eyes: “Behold, the Virgin shall conceive and bear a son and call his name, Emmanuel (which means, God with us, Isaiah 7:14).
 
When Saint Simeon received Christ into his elderly arms, he prayed what is recorded in the Gospel of Saint Luke and is used at every single Vesper service of the Orthodox Church and also in the Thanksgiving Prayers after having received Holy Communion:
 
Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

(Luke 2:29-32).

 
It is because Christ was brought to the Temple at 40 days old that the tradition exists in the Orthodox Church for parents to bring their infants to church to be blessed on the 40th day, in preparation for baptism.  Children are a gift and a blessing, and we thank God for humbling Himself, having become a little child Himself.

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