The Feast of the Holy Epiphany
The Feast of the Holy Theophany (Epiphany) of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ.
On January 6 the Greek Orthodox Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Epiphany, commemorating the Baptism of Christ in the River Jordan by John the Baptist, and the divine revelation of the Holy Trinity. At the Baptism of Christ, all three Persons of the Holy Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—were made manifest. Thus, the name of the Feast is Epiphany, meaning manifestation, or Theophany, meaning manifestation of God.
The Holy Valley Foundation pays great attention to this, perhaps, one of the most important Christian holy blessing ceremonies.
John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus and the one chosen by God to proclaim His coming, was preaching in the wilderness and was baptizing all who would respond to his message calling for repentance. As he was doing this, John was directing the people toward the one who would baptize them with the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:11) the third person of the Trinity. By the Scriptues Jesus came from Galilee to John to be baptized by him,but John would not to do this,saying that Jesus should baptize him. Jesus said to John :" Let it be so now for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness" (3:15). John consented and baptized Jesus. When Jesus came up from the water, the heavens opened suddenly, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him. The Bible records that the Spirit descended like a dove and alighted on him. When this happened, a voice came from heaven and said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” This was the voice of God the Father.
Christ’s baptism in the Jordan river was “theophany,” a manifestation of God to the world because it was the beginning of our Lord’s public ministry. It was also a “theophany” in that the world was granted a revelation of the Holy Trinity. All three Persons were made manifest together: the Father testified from on high to the divine Sonship of Jesus; the Son received His Father’s testimony; and the Spirit was seen in the form of a dove, descending from the Father and resting upon the Son.
The theme of “manifestation” or “revelation” is also expressed in Scripture with the symbolism of light. January 6 is also known as the Feast of Lights. The Church celebrates on this day the illumination of the world by the light of Christ.
The new lights in the heavens and the absence of darkness are symbolic of Jesus Christ as the light of the world. He brought the light of truth to the world and overcame the darkness of sin and death through His Atonement. Jesus Christ is the light that shines through the darkness of the world, showing us the right way to go and how to overcome the darkness of temptation and sin.
On January 6, the day of the Feast, the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom is conducted preceded by Matins and followed by the second Blessing of the Waters.
The Blessing of the Waters is conducted in the church; however, in many places throughout the world services are conducted near open bodies of water. As a sign of blessing as Christ blessed the Jordan, holy water is poured into the body of water. An associated tradition has been the tossing of a cross into the water to be retrieved by divers.
The holy water from the church is given to the faithful to consume and to use in blessing their homes. In the weeks following the Feast, clergy visits the homes of parishioners and conduct a service of blessing using the holy water that was blessed on the Feast of Theophany.
The Holy Valley Foundation, under its wing, greatly respects and preserves the Holy Water of the Jordan River.
The holy water from Jordan River proofed to be able to give relief and healing, renewed faith, blessings from spiritual and bodily infirmities and comfort. Houses sanctifies by holy water is imparted by blessing of God.
The Holy Spirit, as it descends on water, changes its natural properties. She becomes impatient, it does not deteriorate, remains translucent and fresh for many years, receives the benefit of healing diseases, expelling demons and every evil power, protecting people and their homes from all danger, sanctifying various objects, both for church and home use. Because of all this, Orthodox Christians devoutly worship the holy water, the great Agiazma (Holy) as the Greeks call it. "