“Therefore, welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God” (Romans 15:7)
Tonight, the Divine Liturgy and the Great Blessing of Water will happen at 5:30 p.m. The newly blessed water will be available to for use at home. Take and use!
The Catholic Church –the Byzantine Catholic and Orthodox Churches– celebrate the feast of Holy Theophany. What is celebrated in this ancient feast? We hear in the Scriptures proclaimed and prayers prayed of the baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the waters of the Jordan. What celebrate is the “revelation of God” – because the foreshadowing of the Holy Trinity in the Old Testament made manifest. The God-Man, Jesus Christ, descends into the waters, the voice of the Father testifies to His Sonship, and the Holy Spirit confirms the proclamation of the Father through appearing in the likeness of a dove. This is revelation is called Theophany (some will say Epiphany).
Theologians will indicate to us that there are two important themes dealing with water: one is the power God has over the waters and the other is the way God appointed water as a means of purification. As a source of human life, creation is made anew in the blessing of water.
One person reflects on the experience of this feast: “We know that the Lord was pure and without sin, yet He deigned to be washed. He suffered no corruption or disease, yet He deigned to be cleansed. With no need, only to “fulfill all righteousness,” did the Lord come to His Baptism. And because of the unity of His Divinity and His Humanity, and because of His Divine Humility, the Lord is not cleansed or purified or washed – the waters themselves become pure, holy, and sanctified by Him! At this moment, the Father’s voice reveals Him as the Son and the Spirit confirms it.”
Let the Church sing:
When Thou O Lord was baptized in the Jordan, the worship of the Trinity was made manifest. And the voice of the Father bore witness to Thee, and called Thee His Beloved Son. And the Spirit in the form of dove, confirmed the truthfulness of His Word. O Christ Our God, who has revealed Thyself and has enlightened the world, Glory to Thee.