The Theophany of Christ

Theophany icon

O Lord, when Thou wast baptized in the Jordan
Worship of the Trinity was made manifest
For the voice of the Father bore witness to Thee,
Calling Thee His beloved Son
And the Spirit in the likeness of a dove
Confirmed the truth of His word
O Christ our God, Who hath appeared and enlightened the world,
Glory to Thee!
-Apolytikion of the Theophany of Christ in Tone One

I thought I’d share this homily on Theophany by St. John Chrysostom. Although the feast of Theophany is largely forgotten today outside the Orthodox, Catholic, and Anglican Churches, St. Chrysostom, who lived 349 – 407AD, describes here what was already a well-established tradition in the early Church.

A small bottle of blessed water from The Great Blessing of Water at Theophany

A small bottle of blessed water from The Great Blessing of Water at Theophany


And I really liked this part: “This present day it is, on which He was baptised and sanctified the nature of water. Because on this day all, having obtained the waters, do carry it home and keep it all year, since today the waters are sanctified. And an obvious phenomenon occurs: these waters in their essence do not spoil with the passage of time, but obtained today, for one whole year and often for two or three years, they remain unharmed and fresh, and afterwards for a long time do not stop being water, just as that obtained from the fountains.”

We still get at least a little bottle of water to bring home each year. These days it’s not unusual for people to keep their bottles of blessed water for several years. We keep ours in the medicine cabinet and take a sip when we’re not feeling well. Last year we ran out of room for all the bottles, so I drank one and sprinkled a few others around the house 🙂

Besides attending Liturgy, does your family do anything special to celebrate Theophany?

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