Holy Theophany, Blessing of the Waters - 01/06/19

In accord with the Church’s ancient practice, the Feast of Holy Theophany, immediately following the Twelve Days of Christmas, annually commemorates the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan by St. John the Baptist and Forerunner, son of the high priest Zacharias.

The significance of the name Theophany, or “appearance of God,” is that all three persons of the Trinity are manifested simultaneously: above God the Son, standing in the river, there is heard the voice of God the Father speaking, and there is seen the Holy Spirit descending as a dove.

Theophany is one of the twelve Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church, and is one of the few events recorded in all four Gospels: Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:9–11, Luke 3:21-22, and in John 1:28-37. Its observance on January 6th has been since at least the Second Century at Alexandria, Egypt.

At the Blessing of the Water service, prayers are offered for our local community, and the entire world. The service ends with the local priest, Rev. Alexander Vallens, immersing a gold cross in Cherry Creek, symbolizing Jesus Christ’s baptism in the River Jordan almost two thousand years ago.