PRAYER AND TRANSFIGURATION
For the Orthodox Church the Transfiguration of Christ is more than a distinct event. It is morethan a celebration of a past happening. The transfiguration premeates the worship and spirituality of the church. For example, it is indispensable for understanding the place and the importance of the prayer of Jesus in the spiritual life of Orthodox Christians. This prayer runs: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me, a sinner.” As Jesus was praying on the mountain, according to the evangelist Luke, “the appearance of his contenance was altered and his raiment became dazzling white” (9:28-29); so also the transfiguring effect of this prayer has been attested in the life of the saints. The experience of the divine light of the Transfiguration has been made possible through the Jesus prayer for others. Father John of Kronstadt, who constantly used the Jesus prayer, wrote that “as long as we are praying diligently we are at peace and there is light in our souls, because then we are with God.” The mystics of the Orthodox tradition spoke of finding the “Taborite light” within themselves. This prayer, for which a particular posture and controlled breathing are suggested by spiritual teachers, has been inseparably bound with sacramental mysticism. Those participating experienced an intensified interest in the sacramental life, which excluded an individualistic, subjective piety. Thus the spirituality inspired by the Transfiguration is both personal and corporate. The worshipper is constantly reminded of the presence of Jesus with himself by repetition of his name, but his presence is fully realized only in the sacraments of the church.
Come, let us ascend the mountain of the Lord, even unto the house of our God,Let us behold the glory of His Transfiguration, glory as of the only-begotten of the Father.Let us receive light from His Light, and with uplifted spirits, Let us forever sing the praises of the consubstantial Trinity.