Saint Symeon the God-Receiver, the Righteous

Feast Day: February 3rd


The Life of Saint Symeon the God-Receiver: Symeon quickly entered the Temple and there recognized both the Virgin and the young Child by the light that shone around their heads as an aureal. The joyful Symeon took Christ into his hands and prayed to God to release him from this life: “Now, Master, You may let Your servant go in peace, according to Your word, for my eyes have seen Your Salvation” (Luke 2: 29-30)…

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Prayers

Apolytikion: Hail Virgin Theotokos full of Grace, for Christ our God, the Sun of Righteousness, has dawned from you, granting light to those in darkness. And you, O Righteous Elder, rejoice, taking in your arms, the Deliverance of our Souls, who grants us Resurrection.

Kontakion: Your birth sanctified a Virgin’s womb and properly blessed the hands of Symeon. Having now come and saved us O Christ our God, give peace to Your commonwealth in troubled times and strengthen those in authority, whom You love, as only the loving One. 

Apolytikion: In the Temple thou didst embrace as an infant God the Word Who became flesh, O glorious Elder Symeon, who didst hold God in thine arms. And also as a prophetess the august Anna ascribed praise to Him. We acclaim you as divine servants of Christ.

Kontakion: Let Symeon the Righteous and Anna the Prophetess, that godly pair, be praised together; well-pleasing to God, they became witnesses of the Incarnate Lord. When they saw him as an infant, together they worshiped Him.


One day Saint Symeon was translating the Book of the Holy Prophet Isaiah, and when he read the part “a virgin will give birth”, Saint Symeon questioned this and was about to change the wording from virgin to young woman. He was then visited by a Holy Angel of God who confirmed this Mystery and the correctness of these words, and told Saint Symeon he would not die until he saw the Messiah born of the Virgin.

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The Presentation of Christ to the Temple

Feast Day: February 2nd

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Prayers

Kathisma: The Ancient of Days becomes a Child for me, and God Who is the purest, comes for purification, that I might believe in His flesh from the Virgin. And Symeon meditates on this, and, coming to know Him as God Who has been revealed in the flesh, takes hold of his Life, and rejoices, and cries out as a priest: Grant me to depart, for I have seen You, the Life of all.

Stichera: Say, Symeon, Whom do your carry in your arms, as you rejoice in the Temple? To Whom do you cry and shout aloud, ‘Now I have been set free. For I have seen my Saviour’? ‘This is He who was born from a Virgin. This is the Word, God from God, Incarnate for our sake and who saves mankind. Let us worship Him’.

Doxastikon: Let Heaven’s gate be opened today. For He Who is without beginning, the Word of the Father, taking a beginning in time, yet not abandoning His Godhead, is being willingly brought into the Temple of the law as a Babe of forty days by a Virgin Mother, and the Elder receives him in his arms. The servant cries to the Master, ‘Release me, for my eyes have seen Your Salvation’. You have come into the world to save the human race. Lord, Glory to You!

Doxastikon: He Who rides on the Cherubim and is hymned by the Seraphim is being brought today into God’s Temple according to the Law and enthroned on aged arms. By Joseph He receives gifts befitting God, as a pair of turtle doves the unblemished Church and the newly chosen people of the nations; as Author of the Old and New Covenants, two young pigeons. Symeon, having received the fulfilment of the oracle concerning Him, blessed Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, and foretold the symbols of the Passion of the One born from her. From him he asks for his release, crying out, ‘Now You release me, Master, as You promised me; for I have seen You, the Pre-Eternal Light, Saviour and Lord of the people that bears Christ’s Name.’

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Saint Symeon lived to a very old age, and received the baby Jesus Christ when He was Presented to the Temple by His Most Holy Mother of God and Ever Virgin Mary, and Saint Joseph the Betrothed.

In the Prayers after Holy Communion we say the Prayer of Saint Symeon which is recorded in the Holy Gospel: “Lord, now let Your servant depart in peace, according to Your Word; for my eyes have seen Your Salvation which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for Glory to Your people Israel.” (Luke 2:29-32)


Also living in the Temple was Saint Anna the Prophetess, who spent much time with Saint Symeon together in Prayer. Saint Anna was so happy to see Christ and proclaimed His Divinity to all.

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The Prophetic words of Saint Symeon to Our Most Holy Mother of God.

“Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel…” (Luke 2:34)

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“(Yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” (Luke 2:35)


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