In Finland and Sweden, Transfiguration Sunday ("Kirkastussunnuntai") has been celebrated in July, the brightest time of the year, since the sixteenth century. Its theme is the glorified Christ. The gospel of the day tells us how Jesus went up a high mountain with three of his disciples. There his appearance changed: his face shone like the sun and his clothes became dazzling white. His disciples were overshadowed by a bright cloud, and they heard the voice of God saying: ”This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!” (cf Matthew 17)
Christ's transfiguration marks a turning point in his life. Having come down from the mountain of his glory, he continues his work, and takes his message to Jerusalem, where he is betrayed, subjected to an unjust trial and crucified.
Many artists have been inspired by the vividness of the story, and it is the theme of numerous altarpieces. Light and brightness are often used as metaphors for the reality of the life hereafter. The liturgical colour for Transfiguration Sunday is white.