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Celebration of the feast
==Baptism of Christ==
This observance commemorates [[Jesus Christ|Christ]]'s [[baptism]] by [[John the Forerunner]] in the River Jordan, and the beginning of Christ's earthly ministry. The Feast of Theophany is the culmination of the Christmas Season, which starts on [[December 25]] and ends on [[January 6]]. In mystic commemoration of this event, the [[Great Blessing of Water]] is performed on this day, and the [[holy water]] so blessed is used by the local [[priest]] to [[Blessing of homes|bless the homes ]] of the faithful.
The feast is called ''Theophany'' because at the baptism of Christ the [[Holy Trinity]] appeared clearly to mankind for the first time -- —the [[God the Father|Father]]'s voice is heard from [[Heaven]], the [[Son of God]] is [[incarnation|incarnate]] and standing physically in the Jordan, and the [[Holy Spirit]] descends on Him in the form of a dove.
==Epiphany==This feast is also sometimes referred to as ''Epiphany'' by English-speaking Orthodox Christians, but that name more properly refers to the Western Christian feast falling on that same day and commemorating the visit of the Magi to the child Jesus. The term "Epiphany" ''epiphany'' does appear in some of the services service texts for this feast, however.
Originally, there was just one Christian feast of the ''shining forth of God to the world in the human form of Jesus of Nazareth''. It included the celebration of [[Nativity|Christ's birth]], the adoration of the Wisemenwise men, and all of the childhood events of Christ such as [[Circumcision of our Lord|his circumcision]] and [[Presentation|presentation to the temple]] as well as his baptism by John in the Jordan. There seems to be little doubt that this feast, like Easter Pascha and Pentecost, was understood as the fulfillment of a previous Jewish festival, in this case the Feast of Lights. The [[Armenian Apostolic Church]] still keeps January 6 as a feast of both Christ's Nativity and baptism.
==Celebration of the feast==
The services of Theophany are set up exactly as arranged similarly to those of the [[Nativity]]. (Historically the Christmas services were established later. )
The [[Royal Hours]] are read and the [[Divine Liturgy]] of St. [[Basil the Great]] is served with [[Vespers]] on the eve of the feast. The Vigil is made up of Great Compline and [[Matins]]. On the morning of the feast, the Divine Liturgy is served.
The Liturgy of the feast begins with psalms of glorification and praise instead of the three normal [[Antiphons]]. And the baptismal line from [[Galatians]] 3:27 once again replaces the [[Trisagion|Thrice-Holy]]. :''For as many as been baptized into Christ,'' :''have put on Christ'' :''Alleluia.'' The [[gospelGospel]] readings of all the services tell of the Lord's baptism by John in the Jordan River. The [[epistle]] reading of the Divine Liturgy tells of the consequences of the Lord's appearing which is the divine epiphany.
Since the main feature of the feast is the blessing of water. It is prescribed to follow both the Divine Liturgy of the eve of the feast and the Divine Liturgy of the day itself. But most local parishes do it only once when most of the parishioners can be present. The blessing verifies that mankind, and all of creation, were created to be filled with the sanctifying presence of God.
In connection with the feast, it is traditional for the priest to visit all the homes of the faithful for their annual [[house blessing]] using the water that has been blessed at the Theophany services.
== Hymns ==
[[Troparion]] (Troparion - [[Tone ]] 1) [http://wwwWhen Thou, O Lord, wast baptized in the Jordan, worship of the Trinity wast made manifest; for the voice of the Father bore witness to Thee, calling Thee His beloved Son.ocaAnd the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the truth of His Christ our God, Who hath appeared and enlightened the world, glory to Thee.asp?SID=13&ID=100106 [[Kontakion]] (Tone 4):On this day Thou hast appeared unto the whole world, and Thy light, O Sovereign Lord, is signed on us who sing Thy praise and chant with knowledge: Thou hast now come, Thou hast appeared, O Thou Light unappproachable.
===Forefeast hymns=== Troparion (Tone 4) :When YouBe thou ready, Zabulon; prepare thyself, O Lord were baptized in the Nephthalim. River Jordan:The worship of , stay thy course and skip for gladness to receive the Trinity was made manifest:For the voice of the Father bore witness Sovereign Master, Who cometh now to You:And called You His beloved Sonbe baptized.:And the SpiritO Adam, be thou glad with our first mother, Eve; hide not as ye did of old in the form of a doveParadise. Seeing you naked,:Confirmed He hath appeared now to clothe you in the truthfulness of His wordfirst robe again.:O Christhath appeared, our God, You have revealed Yourself:And have enlightened the world, glory for He truly willeth to You!renew all creation.
Kontakion (Kontakion - Tone 4):In the running waters of the Jordan River, on this day the Lord of all crieth to John: Be not afraid and hesitate not to baptize Me, for I am come to save Adam, the first-formed man.
===Eve and Afterfeast hymn=== Troparion (Tone 4) :Today You have shown forth The River Jordan receded of old by the mantle of Elisha when Elijah ascended into heaven; and the water was separated to this side and that, the worldwet element turning into a dry path for Him, O Lordbeing truly a symbol of Baptism,:and by which we cross the light path of Your countenance has been marked on ustransient age.:Knowing You, we sing Your praises.:You have come and revealed Yourself,:O unapproachable LightChrist appeared in the Jordan to sanctify its waters.
==External links==
*[ The Baptism of Christ - Uncovering Bethany beyond the Jordan - 47 min Documentary]
*[ Icons of Theophany]
*[ βίντεο που παρουσιάζει το Θαύμα στον Ιορδάνη Ποταμό] (in Greek) ''Video that shows a miracle of the Holy Waters at the Jordan River.''
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