Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Христосъ Крещается!

This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Matthew 3:17

Today we remember how the Divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ and the great mystery of the Trinity were demonstrated. It is also from this that the present feast is called 'Theophany', that is, the divine manifestation, God's appearance among men. On this venerable day the sacred mystery of Christian baptism was inaugurated; henceforth also began the saving preaching of the Kingdom of Heaven.

In commemoration, photography blog Photo Polygon has presented a series of photographs on its celebration across Russia.

Theophany celebrations on the island of Sviyazhsk in Tatarstan

The faithful hurry to collect blessed water in Novosibirsk

In every church, water is blessed (typically in large water tanks) and faithful bring a little home with them. For more daring believers, however, there is a more challenging way to benefit from the sacred waters. Shedding their fur coats and parkas, Russian Christians cross themselves and jump into freezing river, lake or sea water, through a cross-shaped hole cut in the ice.

A young girl prepares to take the plunge in Sestroretsk

People anxiously wait their turn, Vladimir Oblast

A young lady crosses herself before she takes the plunge in Tsaritsiyno

A believer flashes the "horns" as he immerses in the waters of St Petersburg

As one emerges, another prepares to immerse, Moscow

Christians believe that on this day, all water becomes sacred and immersing oneself in it prevents ill health.

Taking the plunge in Volkhov

As some immerse in the water, others collect it

A child hurries out of the icy Istra river near New Jerusalem Monastery

All over Russia believers take a dip three times in icy water through these cross-shaped holes, called 'Jordans' after the Jordan River where Christ was baptised by John the Baptist.

Emerging from freezing waters around Sviyazhsk

This cossack doesn't seem to mind the cold Dnepr

This young lady in Sestroretsk hurries to dry off

An elderly man chooses to collect the blessed water instead of immersing in it

Helping a young lady out (or in, I really can't tell) of the icy waters

Warm refreshments await those who have taken the plunge

You appeared to the world today, and Your light, O Lord, has left its mark upon us. With fuller understanding we sing to You: "You came, You were made manifest, the unapproachable light."

Kontakion of the After-Feast (4th tone)

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Blogger Karen Howes said...

Great pictures, Constantine! That water sure looks cold!

Tue Jan 27, 06:00:00 am 2009  
Anonymous atworld said...

This is extremism! We ridicule the Shia's of Iran who beat themselves to a bloody pulp but celebrate this jumping in freezing cold water? Where in the Bible does it say that we should do this? This is shameful and extremist!

Sun May 09, 02:37:00 am 2010  

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