Celebrating the Feast of Theophany
There are a lot of different things that are done in connection with the celebration of the Feast of Theophany. Many of us may be familiar with Holy Night Supper. On Christmas Eve, many of our families eat this supper, consisting of strict fast foods—no meat or dairy products—in preparation for Christ’s Birth. Many people have a second Holy Night Supper, on the eve of Theophany, which is also a day of strict fast. In fact, many parishes get together and have this meal as a parish family prior to the Theophany Eve service.
At the end of the service, the priest blesses a large amount of water. It is no wonder that we bless water on this feast, because Christ blessed the waters by His being baptized in them. Once the water is blessed, the faithful can take it to have in their homes. Many people will drink it throughout the course of the year. The priest will use this water to first bless the Church and then, in the days following the feast, to bless the homes of the faithful. This feast takes place shortly after the beginning of the New Year, and what better way to start the year than to welcome the blessing of Christ into our homes in this way.
In many places, the service of blessing takes place near an open body of water—a stream or a lake. Blessed water may be poured into the water. Another tradition associated with this custom is to throw a cross into the water to be retrieved by divers.