Epiphany, or Theophany, celebrated the Orthodox Church on January 19 by new calendar style. On the eve of the holiday, on January 18 is set a strict fast.
Epiphany - one of the oldest festivals of the Christian Church. Its establishment dates back to the days of the apostles. The ancient name of the holiday - "Epiphany" - the phenomenon, or "Theophany" - Epiphany, as it was called "festival of lights", "Holy Light" or simply "the light". As God comes into the world on this day to show to the world light unapproachable.
All four Gospels attest to this.
"And it was in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my beloved Son, in whom is my grace". (Mark 1,9-11).
The word "baptize", "baptize" in Greek means "to dip into the water." We cannot understand the meaning and importance of baptism, not having understood before the symbolic and real value of water in the Old Testament (OT). Water – beginning of life.
In memory of the Savior with His baptism sanctified water, happens consecration of water; on the eve of feast water is sanctified in churches, at the feast of the Epiphany - in rivers or other places where water is taken. Religious procession to the Jordan is called for sanctifying the natural reservoirs.
Water - the source of life.
The baptism of John was symbolic and meant that the body is washed and cleaned with water, and the human soul who penitent and accepted the Savior, will be cleared of all sins by Christ.
After the Baptism of Christ, Baptism for people is not just a symbol of purification. Here, Jesus revealed himself to the world as the Son of God. "I saw, I testify that He - God's Chosen" - confirms John the Baptist ("Messiah" in Hebrew - is the same as the Greek "Christ", that is the "Lord's Anointed").
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