Come, all that thirst, come, rejoice!

The Feast of the Theophany (Epiphany) celebrates the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River. It is one of the great feasts of the Orthodox year, and includes the ceremony of the blessing of waters.

AS you were baptised in the Jordan, Lord, the worship of the Trinity was made manifest, for the voice of the Father bore witness to you, naming you the Beloved Son; and the Spirit, in the form of a dove, confirmed the sureness of the word. Christ God, who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to you.

Blessing of Waters. Traslation from Anastasis. The accompanying video shows the celebrations beside the Bosphorus in Constantinople, led by Patriarch Bartholomew (from Romfea).


A Hymn for the Theophany

(Resp.—Blessed is He Who went down and was baptized in Jordan, and turned back the People from error!)

1.  IN Baptism Adam found again—that glory that was among the trees of Eden.—He went down, and received it out of the water;—he put it on, and went up and was adorned therein.—Blessed be He that has mercy on all!

2.  Man fell in the midst of Paradise,—and in baptism compassion restored him:—he lost his comeliness through Satan’s envy,—and found it again by God’s grace.—Blessed be He that has mercy on all!

3.  The wedded pair were adorned in Eden;—but the serpent stole their crowns:—yet mercy crushed down the accursed one,—and made the wedded pair goodly in their raiment.—Blessed be He that has mercy on all!

4.  They clothed themselves with leaves of necessity;—but the Merciful had pity on their beauty,—and instead of leaves of trees,—He clothed them with glory in the water.—Blessed be He that has mercy on all!

5.  Baptism is the well-spring of life,—which the Son of God opened by His Life;—and from His Side it has brought forth streams.—Come, all that thirst, come, rejoice!—Blessed be He that has mercy on all!

6.  The Father has sealed Baptism, to exalt it;—and the Son has espoused it to glorify it;—and the Spirit with threefold seal—has stamped it, and it has shone in holiness.—Blessed be He that has mercy on all!

7.  The Trinity that is unsearchable—has laid up treasures in baptism.—Descend, ye poor, to its fountain!—and be enriched from it, ye needy!—Blessed be He that has mercy on all!

Ephrem the Syrian (+373). Translation from CCEL.


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