Thursday, 6 January 2011

Feast of the Holy Theophany

About the beginning of our Lord's thirtieth year, John the Forerunner, who was some six months older than Our Saviour according to the flesh, and had lived in the wilderness since his childhood, received a command from God and came into the parts of the Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance unto the remission of sins.

Then our Saviour also came from Galilee to the Jordan, and sought and received baptism though He was the Master and John was but a servant. Whereupon, there came to pass those marvellous deeds, great and beyond nature: the Heavens were opened, the Spirit descended in the form of a dove upon Him that was being baptized and the voice was heard from the Heavens bearing witness that this was the beloved Son of God, now baptized as a man (Matt. 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:1-22).

From these events the Divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ and the great mystery of the Trinity were demonstrated. It is also from this that the present feast is called "Theophany," that is, the divine manifestation, God's appearance among men. On this venerable day the sacred mystery of Christian baptism was inaugurated; henceforth also began the saving preaching of the Kingdom of the Heavens.

In our Holy Orthodox Church on this day we have a special ceremony, the so-called “Great Sanctification of the Waters”. The ordinary water is being blessed and it is used for the sanctification of people, of the environment as well as of those material things that are used by the people.

Fr. Anastasios officiated at that Service this morning at our Church, which was fully packed; many parishioners, both old and young, attended the Service and received at the end the blessing with the Holy Water.

No comments: