Scenes From Great Blessing Of Water At Ashley Pond

Rev. Theophan Mackey of the Saint Job of Pochaiv Orthodox Church in Los Alamos submerges a cross in the water three times Sunday at Ashley Pond to call down new blessings during the great blessings of water celebration. Courtesy photo
 
Rev. Theophan Mackey and members of the Saint Job of Pochaiv Orthodox Church gather for the Great Blessing of Water Sunday at Ashley Pond. Courtesy photo
 
CHURCH News:

At noon Sunday, the people of Saint Job of Pochaiv Orthodox Church gathered at noon Sunday at Ashley Pond for the Great Blessing of Water.

Rev. Theophan Mackey of the Saint Job of Pochaiv Orthodox Church in Los Alamos conducted the ceremony. The Orthodox Church celebrates Theophany on Jan. 19 according to the Julian Calendar. Theophany celebrates Christ’s baptism in the Jordan River by Saint John the Forerunner and Baptist.

Western Christians may be familiar with the feast of Epiphany, which coincides with the Eastern Orthodox celebration of Theophany, as they commemorate the same event in Christ’s life. Whereas “epiphany” means a revelation of truth, “theophany” denotes a revelation of the nature of God. At the baptism of Christ, a voice sounded out of heaven confirming the identity of Christ as the Son of God, while the Holy Spirit, taking the form of a dove, descended upon Him. Thus the Trinity, God in three-persons, was revealed to those who witnessed the event and to the Church for the rest of history.

John the Baptist baptized people for the forgiveness of their sins, and he recoiled when the Sinless One, Jesus Christ, approached to be baptized. Instead of receiving forgiveness, which Christ did not need, He sanctified the waters by His baptism. When God created the earth, He pronounced everything “good.” By sanctifying the waters through His baptism, Christ returned nature to its original goodness and blessedness.

The group commemorates this blessing, and calls down blessings anew, when they submerge a cross in the water three times while singing the Troparion (prayer) of Theophany.

When Thou, O Lord, wast baptized in the Jordan, the 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 form of a dove, confirmed the truthfulness of his Word.
O Christ our God, who hast revealed Thyself and hast enlightened the world, glory to Thee!
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