“Christ is baptized, in the Jordan!” is a phrase you will hear today in Orthodox Churches worldwide. The sixth of January is Theophany. As I mentioned in my post yesterday, the first time I ever understood why Jesus was baptized was when I began exploring Orthodoxy. The significance of this event can be found in the hymns of our Church.
Below are the verses of the Canon of the Theophany. If you are looking for a study on the significance of the Lord’s baptism, I would highly recommend reading the more in-depth hymns from the Vigil Service that I posted yesterday. Also, I wrote briefly about the Theophany icon here.
The Canon of the Theophany of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
The Lord, powerful in battle, separated the foundations of the sea and led His servants across on dry ground. But, He covered their enemies with the waters, for He is covered with glory.
The Lord, Who bestows powers to Kings and raises up the strength of His Anointed, is born of a Virgin and now draws near for baptism. Therefore, let us the faithful, cry out: “No one is as holy as our God, and no one is as righteous as You, O Lord.”
O Lord, he whom You have called the voice of one crying in the wilderness, heard Your voice when you thundered upon the waters, bearing witness to Your Son. Having been filled with the spirited he cried out: “You are Christ! The Wisdom and Power of God.”
Jesus the Prince of Life, has come to set free Adam, the first created, and although as God he has no need of cleansing, for the sake of the fallen human race He is cleansed in the Jordan. He destroyed the enemy in the waters and grants the peace that is beyond all understanding.
The voice of the Word ,the candlestick of the Light, the morning Star, and Forerunner of the Sun, proclaimed in the wilderness to all peoples: “Repent and be purified while time still remains. For behold, Christ is at hand, the One Who delivers the world from corruption.
As they walked about in the fiery furnace, the three youths were preserved from all harm by the presence of an angel of God, strengthened with these helps, they gratefully cried out: “Blessed are You and praised above all God of our Fathers.
As the Babylonian furnace poured forth dew, it prefigured a wondrous mystery: How the Jordan received in its streams the Immaterial Fire and encircled the Creator when He was baptized in the flesh. All you faithful, glorify and praise Him above all forever.
Magnify, magnify, O my soul, O my soul, her who is greater in honor than the hosts on high. Magnify, magnify, O my soul, O my soul, Him Who was baptized in the Jordan, Christ the King.
Every tongue is at a loss to give you proper praise. Even a spirit from on high is overcome when it seeks to sing your praises, O Mother of God. But since you are good, accept our faith. For you know well our love inspired by God. For you are the Protectress of Christians and we magnify you.
Translation provided by the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese.