On the 21st of this month [November], the Entrance of our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary
Within the temple, Gabriel feeds you, O Daughter,
And shortly he shall come and shall say to you: Rejoice.
On the twenty-first Mary entered the sacred temenos.
The Entrance of the Lady Theotokos into the Temple of the Law, is the cause of a wonderful and universal feast for Orthodox Christians. Also because this took place in a paradoxical manner, and it is an introduction to the majestic and awesome mystery of the incarnation of God the Word, Who through the Theotokos was destined to be born into the world. The starting point for this feast of the Entrance took place as follows. Anna, who is known to all, because she was barren nearly all her life and unable to have a child, after supplications to the Master of creation with her husband Joachim, was granted a child. And having been granted what they longed for, immediately they dedicated the child born to them to God. Therefore in a paradoxical way was born the one who would produce the salvation of the race of men, the cause of the refashioning of fallen Adam, and of his resurrection and theosis. We call her the Most Holy and Lady Theotokos Mary.
Wherefore when she turned three years old, her parents took her and offered her on this day to the Temple. And in fulfillment to the obligations they made, they dedicated their daughter to God Who gave her to them. So they handed her over to the priests, and the High Priest of that time Zacharias. Having received her, he took her into the innermost section of the Temple, where only the High Priest entered once a year. This was done according to God's will, because she was soon destined to give birth, for the restoration and salvation of the world. Therefore, the Virgin remained there for twelve years, fed in a strange manner by the Archangel Gabriel with heavenly food. She was made worthy by God of these appearances, until the time came for the divine Annunciation, and that heavenly and supernatural message, which stated that it was God's good pleasure to receive flesh from her for the love of mankind, to refashion this world corrupted by sin. Then the Theotokos came out of the Holy of Holies and was given to her betrothed Joseph, that he may guard her and testify to her virginity. And also to serve her and the child born without seed, from the time of their flight into Egypt until their return to the land of Israel.
Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Today is the prelude of God's good pleasure, and that which was foretold of the salvation of men. The Virgin appears openly in the temple of God, and foretells Christ to all. So let us cry to her with loud voices: Rejoice, you who are the fulfillment of the Creator's economy.
Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
The most pure Temple of the Savior, the most precious bridal chamber and Virgin, the sacred treasury of the glories of God, today enters into the house of the Lord, bringing with her the grace that is the Divine Spirit. And the Angels of God sing of her: She is the heavenly tabernacle.
See also: Entrance of the Theotokos Resource Page