The Feast of the Holy Epiphany, 2020

On January 6, the Feast of the Holy Epiphany is celebrated by the Orthodox Church. It is the commemoration of the Baptism of Jesus Christ in the River Jordan by John the Baptist, and the divine revelation of the Holy Trinity.

At the Baptism of Christ, all three Persons of the Holy Trinity — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — were made manifest. Thus, the name of the Feast is “Epiphany”, meaning manifestation, or “Theophany”, meaning manifestation of God.

John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus and the one chosen by God to proclaim His coming, was preaching in the wilderness and was baptizing all who would respond to his message calling for repentance. As he was doing this, John was directing the people toward the one who would baptize them with the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:11).

The Scriptures tell us that Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. Initially, not feeling worthy of baptizing The Son Of God, John told Jesus that Jesus should baptize him. Jesus said to John, “Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness” (3:15). John consented and baptized Jesus.

When Jesus came up from the water, the heavens opened, and The Holy Spirit descended upon Him. The Bible records that the Spirit descended like a dove and alighted on him. When this happened, a voice came from heaven and said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased”. This was the voice of God the Father.

Check out the following sites to find out more info about The Feast of the Holy Epiphany:

Elder Arsenie Boca’s prayer

This is a prayer written by Romanian Orthodox monk, theologian and artist Arsenie Boca. It was received from Gheorghe Moraru and Mother Eftimia Ciungan from the Hurezu Monastery. The current version was partially translated into English by Lucian Hodoboc.

Lord Jesus Christ, help me deny myself today, all throughout the day, for who knows what trifles will cause me to create great dissension, and thus, tending to myself, I might lose You.

Lord Jesus Christ, help me so that the the prayer of Your Most Holy name might work within my mind more than the lightning in the sky, so that not even the shadow of evil thoughts might obfuscate me, for here I am, sinning all the time.

Lord, You Who among people come in secret, have mercy on us, for we walk stumbling through the darkness. The passions have covered the eyes of the mind with ooze, forgetfulness has solidified itself inside of us like a wall, hardening our hearts inside of us, and all of these have built the prison in which we keep You sick, hungry and without clothes, thus wasting away our days, in gloom and bowed down to the dust.

Lord, You who come among people in secret, have mercy on us and put fire to the prison, ignite the love in our hearts and shine light within our souls. Lord, You who come in secret among people, have mercy on us, come dwell within us, together with the Father and Your Holy Spirit. For the Holy Spirit prays for us with unspoken sighs when our words and our minds remain powerless.

Lord, You who come in secret, have mercy on us, for we do not realize how unaccomplished we are and how close You are to our souls and how much we distance ourselves through our sins.

Do shine Your light over us so that we may see the light through Your eyes, so that we may live forever through Your life. Our Light and our Joy, praise Thee! Amen.