Theophany is the feast of the Baptism of Jesus Christ, when He began His public ministry by being baptized by St. John the Forerunner (John the Baptist) in the Jordan River. This act not only introduced Him to the world, but also made Christian baptism possible (by His blessing of the waters) and made plain the three Persons of the Holy Trinity—the Father speaking from the heavens, the Son being baptized and the Holy Spirit descending on the Son in the form of a dove. Theophany means “the appearance of God” and refers to this revelation of the Holy Trinity.
As part of the celebrations of this great feast—which is second in rank only to Pascha (Easter) and thus more important than Christmas!—holy water is blessed for use throughout the year, especially for the blessing of all parishioners’ homes.
Following is the schedule of services for Theophany 2013, which is a little different from other years, since in 2013 the feast falls on a Sunday:
Friday, Jan. 4
8:30am – Royal Hours of Theophany
Saturday, Jan. 5 – Paramon (Eve) of Theophany
10am Divine Liturgy for the Paramon
6pm Great Vespers with Litia and Artoklasia for Theophany
Sunday, Jan. 6 – The Feast of Theophany
8am Festal Matins for Theophany
9am Festal Divine Liturgy for Theophany with the Great Blessing of Water (bring your holy water bottles!)
12:30pm Outdoor Blessing of Water at the Emmaus Wildlands Conservancy (3701 Orchid Pl., Emmaus, PA 18049)
Please note that the eve of Holy Theophany (January 5) is appointed to be kept as a strict fast day—no meat, poultry, fish with backbones, dairy, wine or oil are to be consumed.
To read more about Holy Theophany, go here.