Posts Tagged ‘holy water’

Theophany (Jesus’s baptizm in Jordan) feast in Bulgarian Orthodox Church on 6th of January

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

Baptism of Christ Theophany Old Orthodox icon

On 6th of January in our Bulgarian Orthodox Church just like in the most Christian realm, we celebrate the great feast of Theophany / Epiphany (Baptizm of our Saviour Jesus Christ in Jordan).

What exactly we celebrate is the Baptizm of our Saviour Jesus Christ in Jordan by st. John the Baptist (John the Forerunner as we call him in the church). This day is very important for us as Christians and this is why the holy fathers in the church has ordered this feast to be among the 12 most important feasts in our Church, the so called (Lords feasts).

On Theophany's day it is a rule in orthodox Church that the Great Blessing of Water is performed. The Blessing of the water and the preceding holy water from the priests blessing is taken by Church layman and we bring a little of this water to our homes to bless through that our homes.

In our Church belief the Holy Water from the Theophany feast is considered the most powerful in spiritual sense holy water as this water is the same water with which our sinless Saviour and lamb (Son) of God Jesus Christ was baptized in Jordan.

The reason why we call the feast Theophany is because God in his essence of Holy Trinity appeared clearly to mankind for a first time in Human history. Our Holy Trinity (3 essence God in one indistructable and insaparatable God – one God as God said for himself in the beginning of writtings) has revealed himself in front of all the people gathered along John the Baptist in Jordan waiting to be baptized in his three essences:

1. God the Father spoke from heaven manifesting and testifying about Jesus Christ being his beloved and only son and saviour of mankdin
,br />2. God the Son (Jesus Christ), has physically appeared to receive the baptizm to fulfill all righteousness and (the old testemential prophecies) and to begin his 3 years mission on earth.

3. God Holy Spirit) has descended from heaven on Jesus Christ in a publicly observable form of a dove

Theophany's feast is called by some english speaking orthodox christians Epiphany, but this is a term less used in orthodox christendom and much more spread in Roman Catholic one.

The Gospel readings in the church 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.

After the end of the st. Basil the Great Holy Liturgy served, the Great Blessing of Water is performed by one or more priests (depending on the number of present priests). The meaning of the blessing of the waters meaning is to show that mankind and all of God's creation, were created to be blessed and filled with the sanctifying of God's presence.

A very local unique bulgarian tradition on this number is that if the great blessings of water is performed by a priest near a river or a sea shore the cross be thrown in the water in order to bless the waters. Pulling out the holy cross from the Sea Bulgarian local Tradition on Theophany feast

Then a number of brave man jump in and do a race swimming aiming to pull out the crucifixion of the water. It is believed that the one who could pull out the cross will get God's great blessings through the upcoming church year.A person who pulled out the cross on Theophany Bulgarian tradition

Let us pray trust and hope on God to also appear to us who seek him, and show us his Holy Trinity wholeness mercies just like he did himself to the people waiting for Baptizm from John the Baptist by the holy prayes of the Theotokos and his holy saints and all heavinly hosts. Amen

Exaltation of the Holy Cross day in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church / Veneration of the Holy cross church feast

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Exaltation of the Holy Christ Cross icon, day in the Bulgarian Orthodox ChurchThe Universal Exaltation of the precious and life-giving Cross XVII century – icon from village of Belovo Trqvna region

he Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross (Elevation of the Cross)’s day is feted on 14th of September each year in accordance to the new calendar order, according to old church calendar, the Church celebrated it on 27th of September.

The day is marked by a strong fasting, for short we refer in Bulgarian to this big Church feast as (The day of the Cross / Krystov den).
The Holy Orthodox Christian Church does worship the cross 4 times a year on:

  • Third Sunday after the start of the Great Lent
  • Holy Friday (Good Friday)
  • 1st of August
  • and

  • 14th of September – The Exaltation of the Holy life giving Cross

On this day, we the orthodox christians go to the Church and admirationally bow and kiss the Holy Cross on which our Saviour Jesus Christ suffered for our salvation.Through his cross suffering our Lord has granted to all of us the Christians an unbeatable “weapon” against evil and sin.
Through cross Christ has been victorious over sin and death.

According to old Church tradition, on the day Christian people were asking for the priest to go to their homes and do vodosvet (sprinkle their houses with a blessed holy water).Vodosvet is one of the Orthodox Church mystics, there is a specific prayers begging God for forgiveness of sins, asking for good health and blessing. The prayers are being red over a vessel containing clean water. Finally he blesses the vessel with Water with the life Giving cross 3 times (as a symbol of the Holy Trinity). Then the priest uses a the cross and a tiny piece of twig to sprinkle all the people and objects in the house.

On the holy exaltation of the holy cross feast we also celebrate also the following 3 events:

1. The miraculous appearance of the Holy Cross to emper st. Constantine
2. The finding in Jerusalem of the Holy life-giving cross in Golgotha
3. The return of the Life-giving cross from persian captivity
On 14th of September, according to Church tradition saint John of John Chrysostom has give away his spirit and joined the assembly of saints of God, however because of the Exaltation great significance, the church holy fathers decided that this is celebrated on 13th of September.

The Antiphon for the Exaltation of the Cross feast is singed and translated from Slavonic its meaning goes like this:

Troparion voice 1

Save Oh Lord, your people and bless possession, grant us oh Lord a victory over our enemies and save your inheritance with your Cross

Troparion voice 2

You've been lifted willingly on the cross, grant you mercies to your inheritance oh Christ our Lord,
stregthen the spirits of the pious king and to your people,
grant us victory against our enemies,
Surround us with peace and with peace give us unbeatable victory

In the Glorification part of the Holy Liturgy feast service its singed:

We magnify you, oh Christ life giver,
and your Holy cross, because you have saved us from the enemy.

What does the Church tradition says about the finding of the holy cross of Christs sufferings?

After the Church crucifixion of Christ, according to the tradition of that times, the weapon for punishment from this kinds – the cross tree was buried in the ground on the same place, where the punishment was executed.
Following the tradition on Gologthas where Christ was crucified was buried the cross used for crucifixion.
In later times, emperor Adrian in his attempt to destroy christianity and the place of pilgrimage of Golgotha has issued an order to built a pagan shrine on the same place.
Later under the reign of Emperor st. Constantine the cross appeared in the sky in a miraculous way and again under his reign the Golgotha place which means literally translated( the place of the Skulls) was discovered.
Let witht he Holy miracle making power of our Saviour’s cross by the prayers of all the Saints and our Theotokos (Holy Virgin Merry) God grant to all of us christians victory of our enemies! Amen