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Feast of the Transfiguration (Three-Year Series B)

February 11

In The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, Transfiguration is observed on the last Sunday of Epiphany. In the Three-Year Lectionary, Transfiguration is on Feb. 11, 2024, which is only three days before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent.

On this day, the church recalls the event of Christ’s Transfiguration on the mountain, revealing His divine nature to Peter, James and John before He set His face toward Jerusalem, where He would accomplish the world’s salvation by His death and resurrection for us.

Where Transfiguration is the last service before Ash Wednesday, many congregations say farewell to the word “Alleluia.” As Judah would not sing their songs in the land of exile (Psalm 137), so the church sets aside our simplest word of joy and praise — until we take it up again in triumph on Easter: “Alleluia! Christ is risen; He is risen indeed, Alleluia!”

To attend a worship service, visit locator.lcms.org/church to find a local Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod congregation. Enter your zip code and click “Search” to see a list of area churches, service times, and contact information.

If you are homebound, traveling, or otherwise unable to attend a service in person, KFUO Radio airs worship services throughout the church year. Visit KFUO.org to view the schedule and listen to services.

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Liturgical color for Transfiguration

White, the color of light, purity and completeness, adorns the altar to commemorate the Transfiguration of Our Lord. On the mountain, Christ’s face and clothes shone white as light (Matt. 17:2). In His light we see light and by Him, “though our sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow.” Christ’s incarnation and His resurrection, His Gospel and its message to all nations are cause for our rejoicing. His purity before His Father becomes our purity. White reinforces this message of joy.

White is also the appointed color for the Epiphany (Jan. 6) and the first Sunday following it, which is often observed as the Baptism of Our Lord. It is also the color of Easter. On high festive days when white is appointed, some congregations also use gold.

Three-Year Series B Lectionary

Scripture readings for Transfiguration

  • 2 Kings 2:1–12 or Exodus 34:29–35
  • 2 Corinthians 3:12–13 (14–18); 4:1–6
  • Mark 9:2–9

Lectionary summary

The Face of Jesus Christ Manifests the Light of the Knowledge of the Glory of God

It was “a hard thing” that Elisha asked, but by his persistence he was able to see the prophet Elijah being taken “by a whirlwind into heaven.” Although “chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them,” Elisha received Elijah’s cloak and a “double portion” of his spirit for preaching the Lord’s Word (2 Kings 2:9–11). It was a hard thing, too, for Israel to see Moses and come near to him, when “the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God” (Ex. 34:29–30). Therefore, after “he commanded them all that the LORD had spoken with him in Mount Sinai,” Moses “put a veil over his face” (Ex. 34:32–33). Only the Word of the Gospel lifts the veil, and “only through Christ is it taken away” (2 Cor. 3:14). Thus are we able to behold “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ,” who is “the image of God” (2 Cor. 4:4–6). For the Law and the prophets are all fulfilled in Him. Therefore, “listen to him,” and fix your sights on “Jesus only” (Mark 9:7–8).

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February 11
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