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Author Topic: Blessing Water at Theophany (Epiphany)  (Read 2458 times) Average Rating: 0
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LizaSymonenko
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« on: November 07, 2007, 01:16:01 PM »

Hello all!

I just have a question on the blessing of water during Theophany.  We have water blessed the evening before (Eve of Theophany) and then again after the Liturgy on the day of Theophany.  Can anyone explain to me why we bless the water twice and is there any difference in the water?
We save a bottle of both, evening and morning.

I have never been able to get a suitable answer to this question.

I appreciate your assistance!

Your sister in Christ,

Liza    Cheesy
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« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2007, 01:32:34 PM »

There is no difference in the blessings: it is the same blessing, the same water.  They are the same prayers each time.  It is theoretically unnecessary to save two bottles, one morning and one night, except if you really want/need that quantity of holy water.

I have a feeling that the reason why there are two blessings is because there are two liturgies: one a Vesperal Liturgy, and one a Morning Liturgy.  Theophany is one of the 3 days of the year that the Church will celebrate two liturgies on the same Liturgical day: Christmas, Theophany, and Pascha (Easter).  Each of these days at some point were days of vigil, with the services beginning the evening before the feast and progressing into the morning of the feast (in monasteries they still are).  Out of this grew the practice of evening and morning liturgies.  The blessing of the water is to be done after Liturgy (when it was a vigil, then there was only one Liturgy - in the morning) as part of the celebration of the feastday.  Now, since we do two Liturgies (unless Christmas or Theophany fall on a Sunday or Monday), the blessing was added before the evening service, since for many that will be their only celebration of the feast.

I hope this is helpful.
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« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2007, 02:43:08 PM »

Dear "Cleveland",

Thank you for your prompt input.  Yes, it was helpful!

Thank you sooooo very much!

God bless!
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« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2007, 04:08:05 PM »

And don't forget there is a third blessing of waters on that day, the Outdoor Blessing of Water.
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« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2007, 04:25:49 PM »

Pani Yelizaveto, vitaju Vas! Pro vodu Vam vzhe skazaly, meni dodaty nema chogo, ale ja vrazhenyj Vashym prizvyshchem... pryjemno bachyty zemlyakiv! --Heorhij
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« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2007, 05:26:28 PM »

Dobrij Den Pan Heorhij!
Dooje priyemno z vami stritesya.
Ya vje chasto chitala tsu ctorinkoo, ale neekoli ne pisala nichoho.
Vcyoho Najkrashchoho!
Liza
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« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2007, 05:41:12 PM »

Third blessing?    After the Liturgy on the Day of Theophany, the people and priest go to bless streams, wells, rivers etc...
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« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2007, 07:02:33 PM »

According to the Typikon, the 1st Blessing of the Waters is to take place after the Ambon Prayer of the Vesperal Liturgy on the eve of the Feast.  In common practice today, however, it is usually performed after the Vigil Service (of Great Compline and Matins) on the eve of the Feast.  The 2nd Blessing of the Waters is to take place after the Ambon Prayer of the Divine Liturgy on the day of the Feast.  According to Slavic custom, the blessing on the eve of the Feast takes place indoors and the blessing on the Feast Day itself takes place under the open sky (lakes, rivers, wells, etc.).
There is some thought that originally the 1st blessing (on the eve) was actually the blessing of the Baptismal Water for those Catechumens who were going to be baptised that day.  If one looks at the prayer from the Blessing of the Waters on Theophany which begins "Great are You, O Lord..." it is almost identical (until the end) with the Prayer for the Sanctification of the water in the Service of Baptism (which also begins with "Great are You, O Lord...").
The Typikon does not call for a 3rd Blessing of the Waters on this Feast.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2007, 07:05:48 PM by Carpatho Russian » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2007, 07:26:50 PM »

There is some thought that originally the 1st blessing (on the eve) was actually the blessing of the Baptismal Water for those Catechumens who were going to be baptised that day.  If one looks at the prayer from the Blessing of the Waters on Theophany which begins "Great are You, O Lord..." it is almost identical (until the end) with the Prayer for the Sanctification of the water in the Service of Baptism (which also begins with "Great are You, O Lord...").

A plausible hypothesis.

The Typikon does not call for a 3rd Blessing of the Waters on this Feast. 

Of course it doesn't - that doesn't stop us from going out and sanctifying the waters of nearby lakes, rivers, streams, etc.  Most Orthodox places with a body of water nearby do this (most famously done in coastal towns like Tarpon Springs, New York, Constantinople, etc.).
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Tags: Theophany water Epiphany 
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