Today the nature of the waters is sanctified,
The Jordan bursts forth and turns back the flood of its streams,
Seeing the Master wash Himself.
To the voice of one crying in the wilderness,
Prepare ye the way of the Lord,
You came, O Lord, taking the form of a servant,
Asking for baptism though you have no sin.
The waters saw You and were afraid.
The Forerunner began to tremble and cried out, saying:
How shall the lampstand illumine the Light?
How shall the servant lay hands upon the Master?
Sanctify both me and the waters, O Savior,
Who takes away the sins of the world.
On January 6th the Church commemorates Christ’s being baptized in the Jordan River by John the Forerunner. Though Jesus did not need to be cleansed of sin and thus did not need John’s baptism of repentance, he was baptized of his own will and cleansed our human nature. At his baptism Jesus is further manifested as God through the Father’s words, “this is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.”
In commemoration of Christ’s baptism in the Jordan and his sanctifying the waters of the Jordan by entering them, the Church prescribes the Great Blessing of Waters for this feast. Once the water has been blessed, the Holy Water is then taken and drunk for the healing and sanctification of body and soul, and is also sprinkled throughout homes for the sanctification of our dwellings.
Here are some photographs from our celebration of the feast.