Today is the first of the great feasts of the Church (liturgical) year with the commemoration of the birthday of our Most Holy Lady, The Theotokos and ever-virgin, Mary.
As you know, every feast has a history and a meaning for us. Today’s feast is pointing our attention less to the birth of Mary, as very important as it is, to the Nativity of Our Lord, the Incarnation. All liturgical feasts point to Our Savior. Let’s consider the feast in these terms:
“Like most feasts of the Virgin, this one began as a feast of dedication of a church built to honor Joachim and Anna. It was located near Jerusalem at a site held by tradition to be the birthplace of their daughter.
“Apocryphal sources written in the second century provide most of the details used in the texts of this feast. Many of them parallel the scriptural accounts of the birth of John in Luke’s gospel and of Samuel in Kings. The thrust of legend is to emphasize the place of the Theotokos in the line of David.
“The mention of the Sun of Justice in the troparion alerts us to the coming feast of the Incarnation. This feast honoring the birth of the Mother of Life represents the first stage in the realization of this momentous event. (NS)