”O Lord, in the light of Thy countenance shall they walk, and in Thy, Name shall they rejoice all the day long.”
Experiences of Uncreated Light of St. Seraphim of Sarov With Nicholas Motovilov
I replied: “I cannot look, Father, because your eyes are flashing like lightning. Your face has become brighter than the sun, and my eyes ache with pain.”
Father Seraphim said: “Don’t be alarmed, your Godliness! Now you yourself have become as bright as I am. You are now in the fullness of the Spirit of God yourself; otherwise you would not be able to see me as I am.”
Then, bending his head towards me, he whispered softly in my ear: “Thank the Lord God for His unutterable mercy to us! You saw that I did not even cross myself; and only in my heart I prayed mentally to the Lord God and said within myself: ‘Lord, grant him to see clearly with his bodily eyes that descent of Thy Spirit which Thou grantest to Thy servants when Thou art pleased to appear in the light of Thy magnificent glory.’ And you see, my son, the Lord instantly fulfilled the humble prayer of poor Seraphim. How then shall we not thank Him for this unspeakable gift to us both? Even to the greatest hermits, my son, the Lord God does not always show His mercy in this way. This grace of God, like a loving mother, has been pleased to comfort your contrite heart at the intercession of the Mother of God herself. But why, my son, do you not look me in the eyes? Just look, and don’t be afraid! The Lord is with us!”
After these words I glanced at his face and there came over me an even greater reverent awe. Imagine in the center of the sun, in the dazzling light of its midday rays, the face of a man talking to you. You see the movement of his lips and the changing expression of his eyes, you hear his voice, you feel someone holding your shoulders; yet you do not see his hands, you do not even see yourself or his figure, but only a blinding light spreading far around for several yards and illumining with its glaring sheen both the snow-blanket which covered the forest glade and the snow-flakes which besprinkled me and the great Elder. You can imagine the state I was in!
Glory; both now. Plagal of Second Tone
TODAY upon Mount Tabor, O Lord, Thou hast shown the glory of Thy divine form unto Thy preferred disciples, Peter, John, and James. For they saw Thy garments flashing like the light and Thy countenance brighter than the sun; and since they could not bear to look upon Thine unendurable radiance, they fell to the ground, in no wise able to lift up their gaze. For they heard a voice bearing witness from on high: This is My beloved Son, Who is come into the world to save man.
Fourth Tone. By Cosmas the Monk
THE mountain once shrouded in gloom and smoke is now honourable and holy, whereon Thy feet have stood, O Lord. For the mystery hid before the ages hath in these last times been made manifest by Thy dread Transfiguration unto Peter, John and James. Since they could not endure the radiance of Thy countenance and the brightness of Thy garments, they were borne down to the ground upon their faces; and seized with amazement, they marveled as they saw Moses and Elias speaking with Thee of the things that should befall Thee. And a voice from heaven bare witness, say in: This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him. It is He that granteth the world great mercy.