Mommy, What Happens at Theophany at the Great Blessing of the Waters?
Child, Something wonderful is about to happen!
When we attend the vigil liturgy for the feast of Theophany, we will be sure to sit in front, as close to the vat of water as possible, and pay very close attention. First Father will give it three blessings with a lighted three-branched candle saying:
“Great are you, O Lord, and wonderful are your works; no word suffices to give praise to your wonders.”
...and God will hear him calling to Him.
Then he will bend over the water three times and make the sign of the cross with his breath and say:
“O Loving King, come now and through the descent of the Holy Spirit sanctify this water.”
...and then the Holy Spirit will come!
Then Father will continue to ask God to do many wonderful things for us through this water.
“Grant it the grace of redemption and the blessing of the Jordan.”
...as if it was water from the Jordan River itself! When we are baptized with water, it sanctifies us...it makes us holy. When Christ stepped into it to receive baptism, HE sanctified the water instead of water sanctifying HIM! Father asks God for this grace for us when we will use this holy water.
Make it a fount of incorruptibility, a gift of sanctification, a redemption of sins,
...this means that if we use it, it will help cleanse us of our sins and even keep us from sinning in the future! Let’s use this holy water as reverently and as often as we can!
a healing potion for illness, and a destroyer of demons.
...it will heal illnesses and even scare away demons!...I like that! We can keep some at our bedside to use after bad dreams or when we feel afraid. We can take some when we are sick or discouraged to keep us physically and mentally strong.
Make it immune to hostile powers, and fill it with angelic power so that all who drink and receive of it may be purified in soul and body, cured of ills, sanctified in their homes, and given every befitting grace.
...He is asking God to let the holy angels guard it so that no enemy spirits can ever undo the blessing that now comes upon this water! It can cure us when we are sick, cleanse us of evil things, scare away demons and call down the holy angels, AND brings us EVERY GRACE that we are able to obtain! Wow!
FOR YOU ARE OUR GOD, who through water and the Spirit rejuvenated our nature grown old by sin.
...Everything in nature reveals something about the One who created it. God has
given us water to refresh and cleanse us, so that we can, in turn, understand how His grace can do so too! Water is a very versatile and useful tool in the hand of God.
YOU ARE OUR GOD, who drowned sin in the waters at the time of Noah.
...see how He used the rain water to cleanse the earth?
YOU ARE OUR GOD, who, on the sea and at the hands of Moses, delivered the Hebrews from the bondage of Pharaoh.
...see how He used the water of the Red Sea to protect the Israelites as they ran away from their Egyptian captors?
YOU ARE OUR GOD, who split the rock in the wilderness, so that the waters gushed out,and the valleys overflowed, and the people were satisfied.
...do you see how powerful water can be? Just as running water can smooth over the hard edges from the river rocks over time and even split them in two, this Holy Water can wear away even the hard, cold stone of people's hearts, opening them up so that they can be cleansed and purified by that same water. Their hearts can then be refreshed so that goodness can finally grow there and we can be fruitful and happy! We truly should partake of this water often!
YOU ARE OUR GOD, who, with fire and water, and at the hands of Elijah, delivered Israel from the errors of Baal.
...remember how He used the presence of water to show His ultimate power and authority when He lit Elijah’s wet sacrifice ablaze and the priests of Baal could not do so, even when their sacrifice was dry?
Then Father will make the sign of the cross in the water with his hand, three times, saying each time:
Wherefore, O Master, sanctify this water by your Holy Spirit.
And then he will ask God:
Grant sanctification, blessing, cleansing, and health to all who touch it, are blessed with it, or who partake of it.
O Lord, save your servants, our civil authorities. Keep them in peace within your protective shadow, granting them all salutary requests and eternal life.
May your all-holy name be glorified by the elements, by men, by angels, by all that is visible or invisible, together with the
+ Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and forever.
Then we will all say,
When the service is over, you may go forward and receive a blessing with this powerful water, drink of it, and even take some home with you to use as you need it, and receive all of the protection, cleansing and healing that was promised in Father’s prayer!
Suggestion: Craft a special Holy Water Bottle that your ByziKids can keep for their own use!