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Blessing of Water on 06 January


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#1 Kostandin

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 02:52 PM

I wish a happy Epiphany to All of you,

 

I am not sure if I am posting to the right place.

 

My question is if during the service of blessing the water on 06 January, all the water of the world is blessed?

 

If yes, then why this blessing is required to be repeated every year? Is somehow "paled" in the coming days

and then need to be repeated? If yes, then is it ok if somebody fills a bottle of water in the house and keep it through the year? Will it be the same as the water blessed in the Church?

 



#2 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 04:58 PM

Dear Kostandin,

 

When the Logos was baptized in the Jordan the water of all the world was blest, the daemons were driven out and the water was as it were taught to cleanse the sins of men. So then in one sense we can say that we do not need to bless the water at all because it was blest for us by Christ. But firstly as Orthodox we do not take a minimal approach we always make prayer and ask for God's blessing when go on a journey when we are about to eat  ect... so likewise we ask God to bless the water; and secondly the water at Theopnay is blest in a specific way to make that water holy (set apart for God) in a way that normal water is not, the same as we bless the water set aside for baptism even though we can argue that all the water was blest in the form of the Jordan at Christ's Baptism. Whether we can say that when we bless the water at Theopany all the water in the world is blest, is questionable, though mayhap some would say yes I would say not, but that being said even if it is that does not mean we do not bless the water again. 

 

Should you fill a bottle of water at home then no that would not be the same as the water set aside as holy and blest at Church because it has not been dedicated to the purpose that the water at Church has, which is blest when we prayer that the Holy Spirit come down upon the water. However often bottles of Blest Water from Theopany are kept in houses of the faithful and are sipped when they feel the need to do so, this of course remains Blest/Holy Water until it is drunk and can also be topped up with normal water, as the Blest Water remains and can be said to sanctify as it were the normal water.

 

P.S. The water we use at our parish is in a sense Thrice blest, once as is all water by Christ's baptism, once by virtue coming forth from the Spring of St Winifred, and once by the blessing at Church. :-)

 

In Christ.

Daniel,


Edited by Daniel R., 06 January 2015 - 05:04 PM.


#3 Kosta

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 06:02 PM

What Daniel says pretty much sums it up.  When we say the blessed holy water is 'set apart', it means it has been consecrated for a specific person. As Daniel points out the blessed holy water can be mixed with clean water as the holy water will consecrate the whole.  

 

Your on the right track about the waters being 'paled'. When one consecrates something it must be treated as holy and used soley for its newly intended purpose, otherwise it becomes defiled. Thus its impossible to consecrate all the water in the world (and expect it to remain holy in the mystical consecrated sense), some of it is used for bathing, cleaning, runs into the sewage system, others dump pollution into the waters, etc etc.  



#4 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 06:20 PM

I concur in what Daniel and Kosta say. As to why the blessing is repeated, think that we take Holy Communion regularly and not just once!



#5 Anna Stickles

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 06:59 PM

I concur in what Daniel and Kosta say. As to why the blessing is repeated, think that we take Holy Communion regularly and not just once!

I was thinking about this too. What God has set up in the Church is for our sake.   Another name for Epiphany is Theophany, and what Christ did when he came to earth, is often talked about as a Theophany - a manifestation of God, making God visible.   But our eyes are still weak and the liturgical worship helps to strengthen our mind to see things in the right way. We keep repeating the service, not because Christ's work was lacking but because we do not yet have the spiritual eyes and disposition of the saints to see all things and treat all things as holy and pure and of God. We need the constant remembrance and help.

 

In the fullness of time we will see truly how everything is set apart to God, and give all of creation is proper love and reverence, but we work up to this in little things like learning to reverence and see Christ's sanctifying presence in holy water, and other consecrated things.

 

the other thing the Church teaches us is that everything comes from Christ, He is the source of what is holy. This is why we go to Church to get our water after it has been blessed rather than simply taking it from wherever. In this way, we really experience how our sanctification comes not from nature in a general sense, - we are not pantheists - but from Christ present in His Body.


Edited by Anna Stickles, 06 January 2015 - 07:04 PM.


#6 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 08:07 PM

In short, salvation is a process, or a journey, not an event.



#7 Lakis Papas

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 08:16 PM

In the ancient Church, on the eve of Epiphany, on the eve of Easter and on the eve of Pentecost was established to take place the Baptism of catechumens. At the midnight the sanctification of water took place for the ceremony of baptism. At the time was introduced a new custom for Christians to get the holy water to drink or carry it in their homes for blessing and keep it for a year, until the next year when on the next eve of Epiphany the baptism ritual was repeated. For this reason, the eve of the feast is set as a fasting day, because catechumens were fasting on the eve of their baptism - fasting is also associated to the fact that initially on the same day of the feast of Epiphany also were Christmas celebrated.
 
In the following centuries the baptisms of the catechumens were disconnected from the Feast of the Epiphany, but the ritual of the sanctification of water continue to be performed and still is. 
 
So repetition is for purposes related to the original aspect of the ritual, originally there was a need for annual baptisms on the day of Epiphany.
 
Repetition is not related to blessing the water as an end in itself, it is a historical consequence of the ancient Church's customs.


#8 Kosta

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Posted 06 January 2015 - 08:26 PM

Thanks Lakis for the historical information. That is very interesting insight.

#9 Angie

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 02:14 AM

There is the small blessing of the waters and the big one which is the 6th January.

 

I believe that the big one is very holy, but I have been told that they are the same.

 

How can they be the same when the prayers are different.  The small one we bless our homes and the big one we must fast to receive

 

Could someone please explain why people are now saying they are the same??



#10 Kosta

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 05:33 AM

I think the small blessing service has been shelved. I was told its still found in the greek liturgy books but no longer used. Or as my mom said about 10 years ago when they done away with it, " the new generation priests dont know they haven't been taught it ". :)

#11 Olga

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 06:40 AM

I think the small blessing service has been shelved. I was told its still found in the greek liturgy books but no longer used. Or as my mom said about 10 years ago when they done away with it, " the new generation priests dont know they haven't been taught it ". :)

 

This is not true at all. Where I live, the Lesser Blessing of Water (which, oddly, is a much longer service than that of the Great Blessing) is still conducted at certain times of the year, notably at the patronal feast of a parish or monastery, at Mid-Pentecost, at the Procession of the Wood of the Cross in August, and Bright Friday (Life-giving Spring). It is also conducted whenever the need arises.



#12 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 10:22 AM

I think the use of the lesser blessing throughout the year is found in the Russian Church.



#13 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 12:33 PM

While it has been alluded to, I think it is perhaps worthwhile to state explicitly, that much of what the Church does, over and over, is not mere repetition. We are participating, outside of time and space, in the original event each and every time.

 

We do not "re-bless" the waters, we actively participate in Christ's blessing of the waters at His Baptism. We don't just memorialize Christmas, we are THERE in Bethlehem with the shepherds. We are there with the Myrrh-bearing women at the empty tomb at the Resurrection! We don't just "remember" History, we LIVE it.



#14 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 09:01 PM

Which is why the services of the feasts say, 'Today ...' We do not, however, like Roman mystics such as Ignatius Loyola, imagine that we are at the scene of the event.



#15 Michał

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 09:20 PM

It's actually an interesting question. Why the water that had been blessed a day before is still considered blessed but after a couple of weeks it needs to be reblessed again?



#16 Phoebe K.

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 09:31 PM

Water blessed is considered to be blessed until it is used (ether drunk or used in blessing something).  This assumes that the water is kept in a respectful way, normally on or near the icon coner in a home.

 

Water blessed dose not become unblessed unless it is used in a disrespectful way nor is it diluted, rather when water is added it sanctifies that too.  This means it is not possible to run out of holy water unless you use it all up.

 

Holy water stays blessed even over many years.  

 

The reason we do the blessing every year is that we bring the events in to the present every year, as we being fallen and fallable need to be reminded of these events frequently.  The time though is like all the time in servers especially the Liturgy outside of time in eternity where all is now and today.



#17 Angie

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 04:16 AM

I know that the Blessing of the Holy Water, the big one, which is on the Baptism of our Lord, is very Holy. 

 

Really, we are not even allowed to let not even a drop fall on the ground.


Edited by Angie, 08 January 2015 - 04:17 AM.


#18 Olga

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 04:43 AM

I know that the Blessing of the Holy Water, the big one, which is on the Baptism of our Lord, is very Holy. 

 

Really, we are not even allowed to let not even a drop fall on the ground.

 

All holy water is holy, Angie, no matter which service was used to bless it.



#19 Kostandin

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 09:24 AM

I thank you for all of your responses, but I would like a response for my questions based on the cannons of the Orthodox Church and/or the Services...

 

Can anyone help me?



#20 Phoebe K.

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Posted 08 January 2015 - 11:55 AM

Kostandin

 

If all the water in the world is blessed by theophony blessings (I am thinking hear mostly of the outdoor blessings or rivers, lakes and the sea) the fact is in a year most if not all of it will have been used by humans or animals consuming it, or will have evaporated and precipitated out again, so lose the special caricter of blessed water. This is my personal understanding if it, but as I said in my last post the repetition is for us as we need to be reminded of things, in reality it only happened once at the time of Christ's baptism in the Jordan, we are participating in that. Just as there is only ever one eternal liturgy, in to which we step each time we go to liturgy as we step outside of time, or through our baptism we participate in the death and resection of Christ.

 

As for the last question you asked about the difference between water blessed in church and other water the best answer I can give is to retell a story my Priest told us, which came form his grandfather (also a Priest).  My Priest's grandfather had a disagreement with a pharmacist (I think I remember that correctly) over holy water staying fresh permanently.  So they did a test, they sealed some holy water in a bottle and some normal water in another and left them for two years, after this time both were tested and the holy water was still as it had been when put in the bottle, the other water was not.

 

I do not know if there are cannons related to this, the services are not the clearest on the matter ether, however the Prayers of the Priest make it clear that we are today participating in the events which happened in the Jordan, not by our imagination but that we are there. Just as at each of the fests we are there in the happening, hence 'today' is a prevalent word in this Feast as in all of them, reminding us that we step out into the eternal now of God.






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