Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Blessed Theophany to All!

Today marks one of the biggest differences between the Roman-rite and Byzantine-rite calendars. For Western-rite Catholics and many other Western Christians, today is Epiphany ("appearance" or "manifestation" from the Greek) or the celebration of the Three Magi coming to worship the Christ Child. For Byzantine Catholics, we celebrate the baptism of the Lord at this time, also a manifestation of Christ's divinity.

This change in feast days was a challenge for me when I first became Byzantine Catholic. Especially living in a very Latino area where Three Kings is a major feast day, it has been an adjustment. All is well in those years where we are able to celebrate with the hours- all of the Christmas season is filled with the entire story if one can also pray the hours.

When You, O Lord were baptized in the Jordan
The worship of the Trinity was made manifest
For the voice of the Father bore witness to You
And called You His beloved Son.
And the Spirit, in the form of a dove,
Confirmed the truthfulness of His word.
O Christ, our God, You have revealed Yourself
And have enlightened the world, glory to You!

Today You have shown forth to the world, O Lord,
and the light of Your countenance has been marked on us.
Knowing You, we sing Your praises.
You have come and revealed Yourself,
O unapproachable Light.


  1. Thank you for sharing this with us. I had no idea that the Eastern and Western rites didn't celebrate the Epiphany and the Baptism of Our Lord on the same day. I've definitly learnt something today. Thank you.

  2. I really like that icon of Christ's Baptism. What is the ax in the lower left signify?


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