Epiphany; Theophania, Ton Foton; Greek Customs & Traditions
This Feast Day is known as "Theophania" meaning; a vision of God, or, "Christ shining through"
6th of January is also known as "Three Kings Day", in the Western Church, a celebration of "The Three Magi" visiting baby Jesus.
We've all heard the Christmas Carol; " We Three Kings", which was dedicated to this event.
|Adoration of The Magi|
El Greco 1568
Soumaya Museum. Mexico City.
In The Greek Orthodox Church, Epiphany, or, "Ton Foton" ( The shining forth) is celebrated as the announcement of Jesus Christ as The Messiah and as second person of The Trinity, at his baptism, by John The Baptist, in the River Jordan.
Another cause for celebration, in The Greek Orthodox Church, at Epiphany, is the fact that Christ's baptism, is only one of two occasions, when all three persons of The Trinity, showed themselves, at the same time, to mankind:
God The Father, speaking from the clouds, God The Son, being baptized in The River Jordan, and, God The Holy Spirit, revealed as a dove, descending from heaven.
(The other occasion was the "Transfiguration" on Mount Tabor)
|Russian icon of the Theophany.|
On Epiphany, The Greek Orthodox Church performs;
"The Great Blessing of the Waters"
This ceremony, performed twice, once,on The Eve of Epiphany (A day of fasting), performed in the church, and again on the actual day, outdoors, with priests blessing the sea, rivers and lakes etc.
A priest, surrounded by brave young men and boys, throws a cross into the sea, either from the harbour, or from a boat at sea.
|Preparing to Hurl the Cross|
The minute the cross leaves the priest’s hand,
|And they're off!|
I should think that the only thing on the divers mind at this point, is a warm towel and something hot to drink!
|The Dove as a Symbol of the Holy Spirit|
On the Eve of Epiphany, the priest has made his house calls.
Photo Christos Katsoulas
Water blessed at Epiphany, or, Theophania, the "Theophany Water" is believed to different to Holy Water, in that its very nature has been changed and has become pure, honourable and praiseworthy.
Epiphaney/Theophania, as you may have guessed, is a traditional day in The Greek Orthodox Church, for baptisms.
Epiphany/Theophania, is followed by an eight day "Afterfeast", meaning, all religious fasting is forgotten for these eight days, which is just as well, as it won't be long now, until fasting for Lent begins, forty days before Easter.
The sixth of January, Theophania, in The Greek Orthodox Church, is the name day of:
Fotis, Fotini, Fanis, Fani, Iordanis (Jordan) Ourania, Peristera, Theofanis, Theofania and Theopoula,.
Happy Name Day to you all.
Find Saints galore on Amazon:
|All the Saints|
Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint by Nadia Bolz-Weber
Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People
365 Saints: Your Daily Guide to the Wisdom and Wonder of Their Lives
The Little Book of Saints