February 1, 2023

Third Homily for the Day of the Reception of the Lord (Archpriest Rodion Putyatin)

 By Archpriest Rodion Putyatin

"We magnify Thee, Life-Giver Christ, and honor Your Most Pure Mother, Who, according to the law, has now brought Thee to the temple of the Lord."

According to the law of Moses, on the fortieth day after the birth of Jesus Christ, the Mother of God came and brought Him with her to the temple of God, where the holy righteous Symeon received Him and, taking Him in his arms, blessed God and sang the well-known song: "Now let Your servant depart in peace..."

Remembering this event, the Holy Church established a feast and, rejoicing, magnifies the Christ Child then offered and glorifies the Most Holy Virgin Theotokos who brought Him.

According to the law of the Church, our mothers, also on the fortieth day after giving birth, come and bring their newborn children with them to the church and, having accepted a well-known prayer, bring them to Holy Communion. Some mothers even afterwards, throughout the whole year, every six weeks, that is, on every fortieth day, bring their children or send them with others to church for communion with the Holy Mysteries. And not only for communion, but even so, listeners, it’s good to bring children or, when they grow up, bring them to church for services, and the more often, the better.

For what? Why are children carried out or released outdoors in fine weather? To breathe in the blessed air; it's good for their health. And you need to carry or take children to church - so that they, so to speak, breathe the blessed air here, so that they listen to the divine here, and look at the holy. This is the salvation of their souls. Now their little ones are carried and led here; but they will grow big, and they themselves will come here with great desire. To everything, both good and bad, people are more accustomed from childhood. It is only necessary to do this so that the children in the church are, if possible, quiet and calm. The innocent cry of the children in the church, more or less disturbing the peace and quiet of those who serve and pray, turns into guilt, into the sin of the mother or those who bring them, when they don't care to comfort them or go outside with them. Especially fathers and mothers, and everyone standing in the church, should see to it that children stand quietly and silently. It is a sin for all adults when small children behave immodestly, dishonorably in church.

The Holy Church, listeners, now rejoices, solemnly remembering that the Mother of God once brought her Infant Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, to the temple, for from this she sees, by the way, that Christ appeared to the world not by thought, nor as a ghost, but in truth. With joy, you, parents, will later remember that you brought your children to church, for you will see that it was good, you will see in practice that it is saving for them. Amen.

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