This document was adapted from responses gathered in breakout sessions at the 38th UCWLC Eparchial Convention Edmonton Branch Cultural Session, Oct. 2017

The feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ celebrates the revelation of Christ’s divine glory on Mount Tabor in Galilee. After revealing to His disciples that He would be put to death in Jerusalem, Christ, along with Peter, James, and John, went up the mountain. There he was transfigured before them with Elijah on one side and Moses on the other. And his face did shine as the sun: and his garments became white as snow.” Jesus is then called “Son” by a voice in the sky, understood to be God the Father.

For Ukrainians, this feast is celebrated with traditions:

  • On the feast of the Transfiguration, the Church blesses the first-fruits of the harvest both as a giving back to the Lord what is His and has come from Him (1 Chronicles 29:14) and as a celebration of the promise of the final transfiguration of all things in Christ. The Divine Light glimpsed by the Apostles on Mount Tabor will transform all creation to its most perfect flowering and fruitfulness. The blessing of grapes, as well as other fruits on this day is the most beautiful and adequate sign of the final transfiguration of all things in Christ. It signifies the ultimate flowering and fruitfulness of all creation in the paradise of God’s unending Kingdom of Life where all will he transformed by the glory of the Lord.
  • When we celebrate the feast of Transfiguration on August the 6th, it is a good time to encourage families to bring fruits of the earth to church for blessing in beautifully decorated baskets with our embroidery in a similar manner as we do it at Easter. Such a tradition can reawaken our gratitude to God for who we are, and for the many gifts that we are endowed with so generously. A table can be set up before the icon of Christ on the morning of the Feast, August 6th. The faithful may bring their basket or tray of fruit and place it on the table. The fruit will be blessed at the end of the Divine Liturgy.
  • This is a wonderful opportunity especially for the children to go shopping with their parents, to bring a basket of fruit to the church, and then to bring these delicious and blessed fruits home to enjoy.

For all of us, and especially in the eyes of the children, the blessed fruit “brings the Church into our homes.” A prayer can be said before eating the fruit. A sample is on the back of this page.

  • In Ukraine, apples and pears, grown locally, are popular fruits brought for blessing. Then people presented each other with apple strudels, apple pies, etc. They also shared crops of vegetables with children and the elderly. People believed that the more you gave to others, the better crop you would harvest next year.
  • In parts of Ukraine, after the church service, families gathered for festive lunches with apple pies, baked apples, apple varenyky, fresh apples and pears, apple wine, vodka from herbs, and honey. (In Ukraine, bee keepers never harvested any more honey after Transfiguration. They left the honey for the bees after that.)

Ideas for maintaining and enhancing these traditions:

The Order for Blessing Grapes on August 6th

According to tradition, a table is prepared before the icon of the Lord with ripe grapes. At the end of the Divine Liturgy, after “Blessed be the name of the Lord…,” we chant:

Apolitikion of the Transfiguration (Grave Tone)

You became transfigured on the mountain, O Christ God, showing to Your disciples Your glory as they were able to perceive it. Shine also upon us sinners, Your everlasting light, by the intercessions of the Theotokos; Giver of Light, glory to You.

Kontakion of the Transfiguration (Grave Tone)

You became transfigured on the mountain, as each of Your disciples beheld Your glory in his

This document was adapted from responses gathered in breakout sessions at the 38th UCWLC Eparchial Convention Edmonton Branch Cultural Session, Oct. 2017


capacity, Christ God, so that when they would see You being crucified, they would understand Your passion as voluntary, and that they would proclaim to the world that You are truly the Father’s reflective splendor.


Lord, bless this new crop of the fruit of the vine which through favorable winds, showers of rain, and calm weather You have been pleased to bring to maturity. May this fruit bring joy to us who partake of it, and to those who have brought it as a gift; for forgiveness of sins by way of the sacred and holy Body and Blood of Your Christ, with Whom You are blessed, together with Your all-holy, and good, and life-giving Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen. Then the Dismissal of the Divine Liturgy.

Obviously our faith must illumine all that we do every minute of every day. The blessing of fruit, like the blessing of holy water, reminds us of that fact in a very tangible way.



Discuss which of these traditions are practiced in your family/church, that is, traditions which have bridged you to the generation before you.

-Not all parishes celebrate with the blessing of fruit, but some do.


 How can you build a bridge of these traditions to the next generation…. in your family?  in your church?

  • Bring the practice of blessing fruit back into your church if it’s not happening.
  • Bless foods grown in the garden, as well as crops grown on the farm if you cultivate grains.
  • If attendance on the feast day is minimal, hold it on the Sunday.


Discuss ways that you can enhance the traditions, that is, make them more meaningful …in your family ….in your church.   

  • Ensure that everyone knows the relationship between the feast day and blessing of fruits.
  • Get children involved in shopping or picking the fruits from the garden for blessing.
  • Children create their own baskets for blessing.
  • After the blessing of the fruit, share them with the parishioners.
  • Discuss the feast of Transfiguration with your children. Study/discuss the icon of the Transfiguration icon. Bring it up from the internet if you don’t have a set of icons at home. – Advertise the information in the bulletin so all parishioners could participate. Perhaps even send an email reminder.

 Now choose at least one idea to implement in your own family and/or your church to build bridges of tradition for all generations and into the future.