The Feast of the Transfiguration (August 6) recalls and celebrates Jesus’ revelation of his divinity to three of his friends—Peter, James, and John—on a high point on Mount Tabor. According to the Gospel accounts, Jesus took the three disciples onto the mountain to pray. While they were praying, his appearance was changed by a brilliant white light that radiated from him and his clothing. Moses and Elijah, the greatest prophets of the Old Testament, appeared with Jesus, and a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”
The account of the Transfiguration points backward to the Old Covenant (symbolized by the presence of Moses and Elijah) and the New Covenant, foreshadowed in the revelation of Jesus’ divine glory.
The story of the Transfiguration for kids
Here is a simple rendition of the story of the Transfiguration for younger kids. This is taken from The Luminous Mysteries:
Jesus took Peter and James and John
up a high mountain. And there,
he was transfigured before them:
his face shone like the sun,
and his clothes became dazzling white.
The prophets Moses and Elijah appeared,
talking with Jesus. Then Peter said,
“Lord, it is good for us to be here;
if you wish, I will make three tents,
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
A bright cloud came over them,
and from the cloud a voice said,
“This is my Son, the Beloved;
with him I am well pleased; listen to him!”
The disciples fell to the ground, overcome by fear.
But Jesus came and touched them, saying,
“Get up and do not be afraid.”
And when they looked up,
they saw no one except Jesus.
Celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration with your kids in these ways:
- Read the Scripture for the feast. (You can do so at the USCCB website.)
- Listen to the musical meditation from Veronica Scarisbrick, provided by Vatican Radio.
- Listen to Father Robert Barron’s extended reflection on the Transfiguration as a template for mystical experiences.
- Pray a decade of the Luminous mysteries with your kids—the Transfiguration, of course.
- Serve vanilla ice cream for dessert or a special treat, reminding your kids that Jesus’ face and clothing were whiter than snow (represented by the ice cream).