THE FOREFEAST OF EPIPHANY AT THE PATRIARCHATE
On Friday, January 5/18, 2019, the Forefeast of Epiphany was celebrated by the Patriarchate, according to the Typikon order of the Church.
In the morning, at the monastic Church of Saints Constantine and Helen, the Royal Hours were read at the end of Matins, officiated by H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos.
These were followed by Vespers and the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great and at the end of the services there was the service of the blessing of water.
Then, bells tolling, and while the choir was singing “When Thou were baptized in the Jordan” there was the return at the Patriarchate Headquarters.
In a short while the Entourage of the Most Reverend Archbishop Theodosios of Sebastian arrived, having finished the Blessing of the Water at St. James Cathedral, there was a prayer and a prayer for His Beatitude and His Eminence blessed with the Holy Water His Beatitude, those present and the reception hall.
Consequently His Beatitude left for Jericho with His Entourage, passed by the Monastery of the Holy Prophet Elisha, the Prefecture of Jericho and reached the Monastery of St. John the Baptist in the Jordan.
There, after His Beatitude’s welcome and the Dismissal from the Divine Liturgy, the procession marched down to the river Jordan under the hymns of the feast.
The Blessing of the Water was held at the set for that reason platform, and His Beatitude baptized the cross in the river Jordan, at the presence of a large crowd of faithful who were all chanting the Apolytikion “When Thou was baptized in the Jordan”.
Finally there was a fasting meal at the Holy Monastery of St. John the Baptist, offered by the Hegoumen Archimandrite Barhtolomew.