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Entrance of the Theotokos
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[[Image:Entrance.jpg|right|frame|The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple]]
The '''Entrance of the Theotokos''' into the Temple, also called '''The Presentation''', is one of the [[Great Feasts]] of the [[Orthodox Church]], celebrated on [[November 21]]. Among those Orthodox Christians who use the "Old" ([[Julian Calendar|Julian]]) calendar as their Church calendar, the date of this feast corresponds to December 4 in the secular calendar.
According to [[Tradition]], the [[Theotokos]] was taken – presented – by her parents [[Joachim and Anna]] into the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem as a young girl, where she lived and served as a Temple virgin until her betrothal to [[Joseph the Betrothed|St. Joseph]]. One of the earliest sources of this tradition is the non-canonical [[Protoevangelion of James]], also called the ''Infancy Gospel of James''.
Mary was solemnly received by the temple community which was headed by the priest [[Zacharias]], the father of [[John the Baptist]]. She was led to the holy place to become herself the "holy of holies" of God, the living sanctuary and temple of the Divine child who was to be born in her. The Church also sees this feast as a feast which marks the end of the physical temple in Jerusalem as the dwelling place of God.
==Celebration of the feast==
On the eve of the feast, [[Vespers]] is served and contains [[Old Testament]] readings that are interpreted as symbols of the Mother of God, for she becomes the living temple of God. In each reading we hear, "for the glory of the Lord filled the temple of the Lord God Almighty." ([[Exodus]] 40:1-5, 9-10, 16, 34-35; [[III Kingdoms|I Kings]] 7:51, 8:1, 3-4, 6-7, 9-11; and [[Book of Ezekiel|Ezekiel]] 43:27-44)
Sometimes [[Matins]] is served on the morning of the feast. The Gospel reading is from [[Gospel of Luke|Luke]] 1:39-49, 56. It is read on all feasts of the Theotokos and includes the [[Magnificat|Theotokos' saying]]: "My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden, for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed."
[[Divine Liturgy]] is served on the day on the feast. The [[Apostolos|epistle reading]] is from [[Book of Hebrews|Hebrews]] 9:1-7, and speaks of the [[Tabernacle (biblical)|tabernacle]] of the old covenant. The [[Gospels|gospel reading]] is taken from Luke 10:38-42 and 11:27-28 together; this reading is also read on all feasts of the Theotokos. In it, the Lord says, "blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!"
[[Troparion]] (Tone 4) [http://www.oca.org/OCchapter.asp?SID=2&ID=86]
:Today is the preview of the good will of God,
:Of the preaching of the salvation of mankind.
:The Virgin appears in the temple of God,
:In anticipation proclaiming Christ to all.
:Let us rejoice and sing to her: Rejoice,
:O Divine Fulfillment of the Creator's dispensation.
[[Kontakion]] (Tone 4)
:The most pure Temple of the Savior;
:The precious Chamber and Virgin;
:The sacred Treasure of the glory of God,
:Is presented today to the house of the [[Lord]].
:She brings with her the grace of the Spirit,
:Therefore, the angels of God praise her:
:"Truly this woman is the abode of heaven."
Troparion (Tone 4)
:Today Anna bequeaths joy to all instead of sorrow by bringing forth her fruit, the only ever-Virgin.
:In fulfillment of her vow,
:Today with joy she brings to the temple of the Lord
:the true temple and pure Mother of God the Word.
Kontakion (Tone 4)
:Today the universe is filled with joy
:At the glorious feast of the Mother of God, and cries out:
:"She is the heavenly tabernacle."
*[http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsLife.asp?FSID=103357 The Entry of the Most Holy Mother of God into the Temple] - [[OCA]] web site
*[http://orthodoxchurchquotes.com/tag/entrance-of-the-theotokos-into-the-temple/ Quotes about the Entrance of the Theotokos to the Temple] - [http://orthodoxchurchquotes.com Orthodox Church Quotes] web site
*[http://oca.org/OCchapter.asp?SID=2&ID=86 Entrance of the Theotokos to the Temple] - The Orthodox Faith by Fr. [[Thomas Hopko]]
*[http://www.goarch.org/special/listen_learn_share/vmpresentation/ The Feast of the Entrance into the Temple of Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos] ([[GOARCH]])
*[http://www.comeandseeicons.com/festal/festal.htm#phf03 Icons of The Presentation of the Most Holy Theotokos]
*[http://www.holytrinityorthodox.com/calendar/v2staff/FixedGreatFeasts.htm Fixed Great Feasts, Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church Calendar]
*[http://www.canto.ru/calendar/day_en.php?date=4-12-2014 December 4, 2014: Orthodox Menologion Online, Orthodox Lithurgical Commonwealth]
[[fr:Entrée au Temple de la Mère de Dieu]]
[[ro:Intrarea Maicii Domnului în Biserică]]
[[pt:Entrada da Deípara no Templo]]
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