10,000 bottles of Holy Water were prepared on Tuesday afternoon to be distributed to the faithful on Epiphany Day at the Patriarchal Cathedral.
His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel officiated the Great Blessing of Water at the outdoor altar of the patriarchal cathedral and explained how the Epiphany service and the distribution of holy water will take place. The assistant bishops Varlaam of Ploiești and Timotei of Prahova concelebrated with His Beatitude.
“Maybe God will help us not to have these restrictions in the coming years”, Patriarch Daniel expressed his hope.
After the blessing service, the assembly of clergy was received by Patriarch Daniel at the Patriarchal Residence to bless the rooms by sprinkling with Holy Water.
In his speech, the Patriarch explained how the Epiphany holy water is differentiated on the eve and on the day of the feast of the Baptism of the Lord from the normal holy water, which is blessed whenever it is needed in the church or in the houses of the faithful.
First of all, His Beatitude mentioned that the great blessing of water takes place at the end of the Divine Liturgy, being included in it. Then he said that the great sanctification includes several prayers and is more solemn. But the essential thing is the double invocation of the Holy Spirit three times (actually six times) followed by the third sanctification which is done by inserting the Holy Cross and basil into the vessel of water – also three times.
“Actually, there are nine sanctifications of water, if we count each segment,” His Beatitude noted January 5.
Patriarch Daniel said that the Epiphany Holy Water is directly related to the Baptism of the Lord, but it also reminds us of our baptism, which is expressed in the biblical readings from the Royal Hours, a service held on Epiphany Eve.
“These days we remember our baptism and ask for God’s help. These prayers and hymns from the great blessing of water show us that this water sanctified on the feast’s eve and on the feast day of the Lord’s Baptism is given to us “for the cleansing of our spiritual and bodily sins, for the healing of the soul’s and body’s diseases, as a provision for the joy of eternal life.”
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Photography courtesy of Basilica.ro / Raluca Ene
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