The Solemnity of the Transfiguration is a reminder of our present fragility and innate ache for
eternity. When the apostles witness the Transfiguration—the promise of the Resurrection—they are
confused, stuttering, blubbering, and hiding.
Peter starts trying to take control of the unexplainable by making tents because “he hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified” (Mark 9:6). After witnessing glory, Christ calls them into contemplation and humility, “As they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant” (Mark 9:9-10).
The Father proclaims truth over the Son, calling us into the same sonship, “This is my beloved Son,
with whom I am well pleased; listen to him” (Matt 17:5). In Christ, we are the beloved with whom
the Father is pleased. Peter was still processing and making plans when the Father proclaims this
reality over all the fear and confusion of the unknown. We are the beloved. There is no grasping or
planning needed. When the apostles hear the Father’s voice, “they fell prostrate and were very much
afraid” but Jesus immediately tells them to not be afraid—for the Father is good and no hiding is
needed (Matt 17:6-7).
This is a day of resting in our identity as the beloved. No hiding here. The Gospel states the
Transfiguration happened after six days—the seventh day is always significant for rest. So let us rest
today even if our circumstances might scream otherwise. Amidst our current frailty and confusion,
let us be transformed in Christ and foster our ache for heaven.
Here are some ways to tangibly express the Solemnity of the Transfiguration in our garments as we
quietly ponder this mystery throughout the day as the apostles.
We wear white in union with the priest who wears white and gold vestments for this solemnity.
White is especially fitting as it is mentioned in the Gospel, “his clothes became white as light” (Matt
17:2) and incase you are doubting how white—Mark makes a point of stating that it is a supernatural
occurrence because “no fuller on earth could bleach them” (Mark 9:3) to that degree of whiteness.
Silk, Satin, Tulle, Lace, Gold
Shiny and ornate textures are fitting for this day since in the Transfiguration “His face shone like the
sun” (Matt 17:2) and the Father speaks through “a bright cloud” (Matt 17:5). There are similar
descriptions of Christ being full of light in the Book of Revelation. Tulle and lace are fitting because
the mystery of the occurrence is a type of veil as represented by the cloud through which the Father
speaks. Silk and satin have a reflective element in them that reminds us of the brightness described
in the Gospel.