Theophany is one of the Twelve Great Feasts, not counting Easter. This feast celebrates one of the five major events in the life of Jesus Christ, his baptism and revelation as the messiah and the Second Person of the Trinity. Baptism is very important feast, as far as it marks one of two occasions when all three Persons of Trinity revealed themselves to humanity: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
Blessing of water is the major event that is performed during the feast. The first ceremony takes place inside the church on the eve. The second ceremony is performed on the Theophany. After the end of Divine Liturgy people and clergy go in procession to the nearest body of water. The ceremony ends with the bless of waters by the priest.
One of the Theophany traditions is diving into cold water. The Greeks practice swimming in water to recover the cross, cast into water. In Russia, where winters are severe and bodies of water are frozen, a hole is cut so the water may be blessed. The cross is not cast into water, but the tradition to dive into ice-hole is kept.
The blessed Theophany water is takes home and used with prayer for blessing of homes and relatives. The Orthodox Church teaches that the Theophany water differs from regular water. It's said that the nature of water is changed to incorrupt.Remind me with Google Calendar
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