Transfiguration Sunday: A Blessing Made for Coming Down the Mountain

TransfigurationImage: Transfiguration © Jan Richardson

Reading from the Gospels, Transfiguration Sunday, Year C: Luke 9:28-36 (37-43)

And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed,
and his clothes became dazzling white.
—Luke 9.29

A Blessing for Transfiguration Sunday

Believe me, I know
how tempting it is
to remain inside this blessing,
to linger where everything
is dazzling
and clear.

We could build walls
around this blessing,
put a roof over it.
We could bring in
a table, chairs,
have the most amazing meals.
We could make a home.
We could stay.

But this blessing
is built for leaving.
This blessing
is made for coming down
the mountain.
This blessing
wants to be in motion,
to travel with you
as you return
to level ground.

It will seem strange
how quiet this blessing becomes
when it returns to earth.
It is not shy.
It is not afraid.

It simply knows
how to bide its time,
to watch and wait,
to discern and pray

until the moment comes
when it will reveal
everything it knows,
when it will shine forth
with all that it has seen,
when it will dazzle
with the unforgettable light
you have carried
all this way.

—Jan Richardson
from Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons

For previous reflections on Transfiguration Sunday, click the image or title below.

Transfiguration II
Transfiguration Sunday: When Glory

Using Jan’s artwork…
To use the image “Transfiguration,” please visit this page at (This is also available as an art print. After clicking over to the image’s page on the Jan Richardson Images site, just scroll down to the “Purchase as an Art Print” section.) Your use of helps make the ministry of The Painted Prayerbook possible. Thank you!

Using Jan’s words…
For worship services and related settings, you are welcome to use Jan’s blessings or other words from this blog without requesting permission. All that’s needed is to acknowledge the source. Please include this info in a credit line: “© Jan Richardson.” For other uses, visit Copyright Permissions.

5 Responses to “Transfiguration Sunday: A Blessing Made for Coming Down the Mountain”

  1. Katie McNabb Says:

    I am so thankful to the friend who has put me on to your work. This is such an enlightening reflection of the transfiguration. I understand Peter’s reaction so much better for this! Thank you so much for both the insight and the takeaway. Your poetry speaks beautifully to the spiritual experience.

  2. Anne Kern Says:

    Indeed, if we could build a wall to encapsulate the moment and carry it for always! Loving that reminder Jan, of the walls we construct in hope to gather moments of strength to propell us forward. thank you.and deep blessings be upon you

  3. Rosemary Grundy Says:

    Thank you Jan, for this very insightful blessing – taking us to earth, and Earth is in so much turmoil now, wars, terror, people trying to reach safety, children trapped in vortexes of violence, starvation, death so much suffering!
    Where the blessing is will surely be revealed in its time, but humanity needs such a blessing. Earth needs such a blessing

  4. Anne Says:

    Ah, timing. The small church I serve just lost one its own a few days ago to cancer. This blessings speaks a powerful truth to the loss of her among this close community, and I think I will read it when we celebrate her life next weekend. Her dying was a transfigurative experience for those of us who were privileged to share it with her, and witness the depth and beauty of her faith and her love for Christ as she was drawn to the life eternal. Thank you.

  5. Charles Tryon Says:

    Oh my…. Just spent three months “on the mountain” in an Incarnate School of Art in Mission, literally in the mountains of Italy. Spent those three months living in that radiance… and now I have to come back down. What we experienced there, “is built for leaving.” What we experienced there, “wants to be in motion.

    It’s not easy leaving such a tight community, but perhaps I know now that it was a blessed community, not just a period of glorious self-absorption, because we can walk down the side of the mountain and each carry a bit of that blessing with us.

    Thank you for your wonderful words!

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