Thursday, January 19, 2006

Eastern churches
Холодно!
It’s cold even by Russian standards. Сотвори им, Господи, вечную память.



И с праздником Богоявления (Theophany, God making himself known to mankind — more):
WHEN thou wast baptised in the Jordan, O Lord, the worship of the Trinity was made manifest. For the voice of the Father bare witness to thee by calling thee his beloved Son. And the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the truth of his words. O Christ our God, thou hast appeared to us and enlightened the world. Glory to thee!
This is sung to the same tune that Tchaikovsky used at the beginning of the 1812 Overture (because it’s also used for the ‘victory’ troparion about the cross).

Here is a photo of the blessing of holy water outside St Elias Church in Brampton, Ontario, Canada, possibly the ‘highest’ Ukrainian Catholic church in North America. The tradition is to cut a hole in the river ice! You can’t see that in this snap but there is an ice-sculpture cross.

As mentioned in the news story and I saw on TV the Russians have a custom of getting in the water and going under three times, not a literal rebaptism but a reminder of baptism (a sacramental, not a sacrament), like the Roman Rite practice of crossing yourself with holy water from a little font or stoup at the door only with more gusto! Хорошо.

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