On January 19th Orthodox Church celebrates great feast of the Theophany, or Baptism of the Lord. Our parish had a beautiful celebration of that holy day led by our Rector, Archpriest Igor Tarasov. He served the Divine Liturgy at St. George Church. Following the Gospel lesson the Rector preached a homily in Russian.
In his homily the Rector preached about the great mystery of God’s Incarnation which is celebrated during our major winter holy days – the Nativity and Theophany. Again he recalled that those two feasts used to be celebrated together because celebrating Incarnation we celebrate the Theophany – God being with us, appearing to the world. As we have been dying in Adam, we became alive in Christ. This is why we also need true Theophany which is to see Christ in our lives and to follow Him. We need to pray that we may receive the fruits of the saving endeavor of the Lord. What does it mean? It is not enough to declare that we are Christians. It is not enough to say, “I believe in Christ!” It is not even enough to be baptized, for many of us were baptized in the young age. We need to follow Christ and make our lives following Him. Let us remember that we are not alone but God is with us.
The Rector also wished that holy water being blessed today in our temples and at different fountains of water may assist us with divine grace and grant us God’s blessing and help needed for our health in the body and salvation in the spirit.
The choir prayerfully performed hymns of the feast during preparation for Holy Communion.
After the Prayer behind the Ambo the Rector performed the Great Blessing of water.
Following the Liturgy dismissal the Rector and the altar servers came before the icon stand and performed the rite of glorification singing the troparion, kontakion and magnification of the Theophany. Then Fr. Igor congratulated parishioners on the occasion of the great holy day.