Orthodox Christians celebrate the Baptism of our Lord
MOSCOW, 19 Jul — RIA Novosti. Orthodox Church marks Saturday the feast of the Epiphany (Theophany), the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill will make a morning divine Liturgy and the rite of the great blessing of water at Epiphany Yelokhovo Cathedral.
Epiphany is an ancient Christian holiday, it is dedicated to the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist in the Jordan river. According to the gospel, after Christ has plunged into the waters of the river, there was a phenomenon of all three persons of the Godhead: God the Father from heaven testified of the Son, and the Holy Spirit as a dove descended on Jesus.
After the Liturgy in all the churches on this day is the Great consecration of water. “The great blessing of water is called the special solemnity of the rite. The consecrated water is called Agiasma, or Epiphany water. Under the influence of the Jerusalem ustav in XI—XII centuries the blessing of the water takes place twice: in the eve of the Epiphany and on the feast of the Epiphany. Sanctification in both the day held the same rank, so the water is consecrated in these days, is no different,” — said RIA Novosti in the press service of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra.
Metropolitan Longin of Saratov and Volsk notices that the Shrine must be surrounded by reverence, so Holy water gain into a clean vessel and put, as a rule, where there are icons.
“There is a pious custom to drink Holy water on an empty stomach every day or when one feels the need of spiritual help,” he said in an interview with the diocesan portal.
In this case, although the people it is believed that on Epiphany all water everywhere becomes Holy, in fact, like the Metropolitan, the Holy water is the water that is consecrated in a special rite for a particular service, and, if you want to score, you better come to the temple.
According to Patriarch Kirill, the baptismal water is “the visible sign of the presence of the Holy spirit in the human race, in the Church of Christ — the presence that is made possible through the birth into the world Lord and Savior”.
Not accidentally, the Nativity and the Epiphany in ancient times celebrated together as one feast, said the Primate in his sermon on Epiphany eve.
“Christmas and the Epiphany, bearing the same sense, we combined into one celebration that begins Christmas eve and ends with the celebration of the Epiphany of Christ. We call this period of Christmastide. This, of course, the popular name, but it captures the essence not only of these days, but the coming of the Lord, which is this world, darkened by sin, made able to be Holy; and each of us that sins, falling — made able to be partakers of his light, his salvation, a partaker of that Holiness, which the grace of God brings to the world of man,” the Patriarch said.
In the night of Epiphany believers have a tradition of a threefold immersion in the ice and cold water. In recent years in Russia will be equipped with special places for Epiphany bathing, with paved walkways, lighting and hot meals. For public order and security people watching the emergency workers and police.