In the night from 18 to 19 January, Orthodox Christians celebrate Epiphany — the feast is also called Theophany. Traditionally the celebration of Baptism is connected with water and swimming in ice-hole — it is believed that on this day, every believer can “wash away” their sins.
On this day Christ rested in the water of the Jordan river, and then the voice over said the laity on the divine origin of the son of a carpenter. About the meaning of the holiday we were told chair of the Department of biblical studies of the faculty of theology of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox humanitarian University Archpriest Alexey Emelyanov.
photo: Mikhail Kovalev
Muscovites have already promised that the Epiphany night will be chilly and windy is to wait for snow and blowing snow, and the temperature drops to 7-9 degrees below zero. However, due to the gusty wind, feeling will be worse — Muscovites seem that the street is about minus 18, so that the traditional Epiphany bathing can become a serious test.
For dipping in ice hole in Moscow will prepare 59-bins — with changing rooms, toilets, decks, ice and lighting. Believers will also provide hot drinks and places for Parking. However, the representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church reminded that swimming in the hole is known, but not a mandatory element of the holiday.
– Father Alexey, the festival, falling on January 18-19, all called in different ways: with Epiphany, who by Baptism. How the essence of this day?
– The holiday is celebrated on the basis of the gospel message in all four Gospels one way or another describes how Jesus Christ reached thirty years of age, left Nazareth and went to John the Baptist, who had already preached about the coming of the Messiah. Almost gospel text written by the famous painting “the appearance of Christ to the people”, it shows all the details of this event.
People came to John the Baptist at the Jordan, Jesus came and commanded John to baptize Him too. He resisted, according to the gospel, as understood, who before them — I considered myself unworthy to baptize Him. But Christ insisted, and at the time of the baptism occurred on the Epiphany, the sign of the Holy Trinity: the voice of the Father, there was the Son of God and in the form of a dove was the Holy Spirit. So science calls the feast of the Epiphany, and the people — Baptism. This day is the beginning of the Savior’s Ministry, because before he was just a carpenter’s son.
Most Orthodox Christians associate the feast of the Baptism of water — the diving in the hole, dousing, going for the Holy water…
– First of all, this day is a testimony to the Revelation of the Holy Trinity. In addition, this day is marked by the lighting of the waters of nature, because entered the world, God, the manifestation of His available to all. The unity of the Lord with the water element signifies the sanctification of the material world, because the water permeates everything. So this day marks Epiphany, the great blessing of the waters.
The people of the ineradicable notion that there are separate water and water of Epiphany Epiphany — of course it is not. To destroy it is impossible, we can only explain to people because the meaning of the holiday.
In people is enthusiasm for making water — that is correct, but connected with it many misconceptions and superstitions, is a substitution of concepts. The main thing — not water, and the celebration of divine service in his honor.
There are new rituals — among them, required, in the opinion of the people, immersion in water. In Russia it was decided to plunge into the water of Baptism — the writer Leskov described even the competition of German and Russian about someone who “sit out” in the hole. However, the main thing for people – after all the leniency in the world of grace. Updated ice water is one way of cleansing from sin, but not the only one.
– There are two opinions: some believed that Baptism is any water becomes Holy, and someone willing to plunge into the specially-prepared font or the hole. Who is right?
– Actually it is two sides of one and the same opinion. Indeed, there is a belief that on this day God’s grace is to the world and sanctifies the whole water element. However, there is a special blessing of the waters — on rivers or lakes cut down the ice, is the great blessing of the waters, accompanied by prayer. To separate one from the other, because if the center of Baptism I think just immersion in cold water, then the person is not so important whether a prayer. Although in reality the center needs to be just a prayer and plunged people into the water or not, is secondary.
– Immersion in icy water is not for everyone: for example, children or people with chronic diseases do just not worth it! Can I just pour or wash?
– If you get the Holy water where it was consecrated — where he made public prayer, she is perfect despite the fact that this day is sanctified all the nature of water.
– What prayers you need to say?
– For bathing definitely not and never has been a special prayers. However, if the person decided to plunge at any price, he ought to turn to God — ask to stroke out from hypothermia. In free form. But for Church services on this day, of course, all prepared in a special prayer. All worship, the ancients, even translated from the Greek, painted, the rite and more. For example, Epiphany Epiphany Troparion and Kontakion.
The baptism comes after the end of advent. Are there any special recommendations which table to celebrate this holiday?
– Yes, advent ended on 7 January, followed by holidays, i.e. Holy days, linking two of the most important holiday, Christmas, and Epiphany. In fact, this two act one Epiphany — first Bethlehem, then Jordan. That is, two appearances of God and the infant phenomenon of the adult husband. Christmas, by themselves, important days, but on the eve of the so-called Epiphany eve, a strict fast is supposed. The point is simple — in fact the whole holiday is thought of as one liturgical day, on 18 and 19 January, and post represents the expectation of this holiday. People refrain to overcome the power of food over humanity, because waiting for the fulfillment of the holiday.
– A common “national” approach — if supercooled in the hole, so you need to warm up with liquor. For prevention, so to speak…
– You can only say one thing: since the rite of dipping was never fixed, there was only folk tradition that depends on personal desire of the person, and the “warming up” thing is irrelevant. Moreover, it is drunkenness falls on the liturgical day of his breaks, looks strange for a real believer. We are talking about everyday action, saying, quickly dipped, rubbed, and left — then it sootvetstvuyut faith. Otherwise it is substitution of concepts, inventing a whole ritual.
– In Moscow it is accepted to Baptism to go into the service at Yelokhovsky Cathedral, aka the Epiphany — for the sake of the religious events in the area, even overlapping motion. This desire is justified, or you can go to any temple?
– Cathedral of the Epiphany this feast is the patronal feast, for the temple is a special celebration day. It’s like my birthday — if we go to someone, why not go to the temple? Moreover, Bloch has long been Central patriarchies Cathedral — in the Soviet years. But if someone is a parishioner of another Church, you can go there, there is no problem. If there is no difference if all the churches are equal, then it is better to choose the Epiphany, especially if you want to visit the feast day.
Read the story: In Moscow will open four new locations for swimming in the Baptism