viernes, 21 de enero de 2011

Epiphany or the Baptism of Christ

The January 19 evening Russia celebrates one of the 12 main Orthodox church holidays, Epiphany or the Baptism of Christ. Traditionally this day in the Orthodox churches celebrate festive masses and believers bathe in the waters of the rivers.

The tradition of bathing in the Baptism of Christ, considered one of the seven mysteries of the Church, exists in all countries which profess Christianity and Russia came to the acceptance of orthodoxy. This day commemorates the Biblical story in which Jesus, at the age of 30 years, reached the river Jordan to be baptized in the waters of St. John the Baptist.

Old for believers who wanted to participate in the rite or winter ice was a tremendous obstacle. And it is not an obstacle to the Russian Orthodox today. According to the Russian Emergencies Ministry in all regions, except the Islamic republics such as Chechnya, Ingushetia, Dagestan and others, and are ready for bathing places. In 1700 total cross-shaped holes. Only in Moscow have been created over 50 places to bathe the 'brave'. According to preliminary estimates, over 600,000 Russian citizens may participate in this mystery orthodox.

How is the ritual of bathing in cold water?
There are no special rules and the rite is performed with three dives of the head while the believer crosses and pronounced "in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." According to tradition, all water is considered holy baptism and believers their homes sprayed with it, drink it and keep it carefully throughout the year.

On Tuesday night, the eve of the celebration of Baptism of Christ, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Kirill addressed the believers and encouraged them to remember that the traditional bath on the night of January 19 is not no fun, but a rite and you have to do with worship. "It is a custom of the people, not a part of our folklore, but participation in the rite," he said.

"Make the sign of the cross, get down to the water, pray at this time for himself and for his coming, for God to send his grace, take away their sins and give you strength in your path in life, which leads to the Kingdom of Heaven ", recommended by the Patriarch.

"The blessing of God comes to us through the holy water"
Only twice a year, on the eve of the Epiphany in the Orthodox churches and at the same party on the evening of January 19, in coastal rivers and lakes is traditionally performed the rite of Consecration of Water. Orthodox Christians believe that the Baptism of Christ the water of all rivers is sacred and health leads people to the soul and body.

On Tuesday afternoon the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church led the liturgy and the rite performed to consecrate the water in the Church of the Transfiguration, a small temple in the grounds of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Over a hundred people came to pray with the Patriarch. Many were in the hands of plastic bottles. In the temple they expected a huge container with four tons of holy water.

"This great day is very significant because the blessing of God comes to us through the sacred water. The water does not change its physical and chemical characteristics is water, as they say," infected "with God's energy, water contains the grace of the Holy was perfect. It is a great relic. And so we have to take it with veneration, "the Patriarch said after the liturgy.
The traces pagan religious festival

The party ends the season of 'sviatkis' Christmas and as in all Russian culture at this event are intertwined in an extraordinary way of religion, with its masses, cold water baths, prayers and fasting, and Slavic paganism, filled with games, costumes and divinations.
So, the night of 19 will take place both a spiritual cleansing in the wells as a divination night, 'fair' or 'girlfriends contest' with 'kissing games. "

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