One of my favorite events of the year, the Feast of Presentation of the Theotokos in the Temple and the tea party that follows kick off a season of beautiful feasts and celebrations within this time of Advent.
In the same manner as those young virgins long ago, our young girls clothed in white lead the procession through the temple........
...... candles and icons in hand, giving honor to the young Virgin who birthed our Savior. As a mother, all I can think is what it would be like to watch my 3 year old daughter walk through the streets, making her way to the temple where she would spend the next decade or so of her life. What joy, and yet what heartbreak for dear Anna my patron, truly a bright sadness.
Each little one offers her kiss to the Virgin. Here, my god daughter, also an Anna, shows her love for our most holy Theotokos. What sweet innocence within these little ones, who can love without question or limits!
After participating in the true feast of the Eucharist,
they join together to break the fast with Father.
Youngest to oldest, all together, enjoying a sweet moment of delight and beauty.
What beautiful memories for each of these girls, what a precious moment between priest and child!
"Rejoice O unwedded bride!"