Thursday, 4 March 2010

Holy Water celebrates the feast of the Theophany

Over on the Ecumenical Water Network Elias Abramides has been writing about Holy Water and the Feast of the Theophany.

The ceremony of the Holy Water is conducted inside the church but if possible, across the world, it mostly takes place near open bodies of water: a river, a lake or by the sea. As a sign of blessing just as Christ blessed the waters of the Jordan, Holy Water is poured into a body of water (a lake, river, pond or stream) and a cross is plunged into the water (being retrieved later by divers who in this way are blessed).
Holy Water blessed at the Feast of Theophany is given to the faithful to drink for health, and for the blessing of the body. In the weeks following Theophany, the clergy may visit the home of the faithful and conduct a ceremony of blessing using the Holy Water that was blessed at Theophany.

I wrote about our own blessing of the waters service at the Ecumenical Centre earlier this year. It is a moving service and can have great meaning, not only for those from the Orthodox tradition. You can find see some images and commentaries about how the Feast of the Theophany is marked on the Keeping the Faith site.
One of the things I am enjoying particularly about Seven Weeks for Water this year is plunging into the holy waters of traditions different to my own, having my horizons opened to other spiritualites and also learning more about water and its liturgical uses.