Catholics have received congratulations from Pope Francis for the feast of the Epiphany. When is Epiphany in 2017? It is on first Friday of the new year. Not only Catholics believe, that on that day the wise men from the east followed the lodestar; that they came to the city and worshiped in Bethlehem baby-Jesus, bringing him gifts. Remember what these gifts were?
If you remember the sacred deep meaning of these gifts, it is easy to remember them all. From them the tradition began to make each other Christmas presents.
- The classic royal gift, which pointed out that the baby was born to be a king. It’s gold.
- Valuable woody aromatic resin, which is used in the temples in the sacred vessel for incense. This is one of the oldest spices, obtained from the Boswellia tree genus: Frankincense.
- And myrrh has also very expensive aromatic substances used for embalming bodies at the burial; it was brought to Christ as the future savior of mankind, who predicted «many sufferings and burial». But it is not a useless symbolic gift. It is used in medicine as a means of improving digestive, astringent, antiseptic powder and tinctures. It claimed that this fragrance «encourages and relieves emotional stress».
Other churches (such as Eastern Christian churches) also adhere to new Julian and Gregorian calendars also celebrate the Epiphany. Orthodox Christians have historically associated Epiphany with Baptism, on January 19. The day after the baptism of water consecration ceremony dozens of men throw themselves into the icy river.
But the deeper meanings and sacred actions, what day Epiphany in 2017 brings from the Christianity of the Eastern Slavs, are very informative for the human culture. Read the article and you will learn many things that will enrich your inner world and will help to put the right questions in later life. For Western people, or Chinese and other oriental culture, it is extremely difficult to understand. It is almost impossible to reconcile with your own view of the world, no matter the god or the denial of god is in the center of it. Buddhism, for example, completely avoids this dualism.
The Baptism of Christ is in very close connection with all of His divine-human people a matter of salvation, it was a strong and full start of this ministry, that exudes mortal remains, absolution, education, re-creation of human nature, light, renewal, healing and like a new birth. The baptism of Christ was in the waters of Jordan, so there has been not only the value of a symbol of purification, but also transforming, renewing effect on human nature.
The celebration of Epiphany affirms our belief in the highest, the unfathomable mind of the Three Persons of the One God, what is the basis of orthodoxy. This is a big topic, but it is impossible to imagine the end, God is greater than our understanding. Here there are some analogies to help somehow realize this concept of three in one:
- For example, imagine a glass of water, ice cubes and morning fog. What do they have in common? In its essence, it’s all the same water, only in liquid, solid or gaseous state. But at the same time, all three of its manifestations are so different, so unique.
- St. Constantine and mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler saw the sun as a physical analogy of the Holy Trinity. Behold the sun: there are circle (shape), light and heat in it. Shining is the likeness of the Son of God, and the heat of the sun is the likeness of God the Holy Spirit. So the sun is divided into three: a circle, the lights, the heat, but the sun is one, not three.
- St. Great Vasiliy considered the rainbow as the most perfect of analogies drawn from the created world.
However, all these analogies are very imperfect. This is just a sample of the material world, the prototype of which is spiritual.
Since ancient times Epiphany has been among the great feasts. The church begins to prepare us for the solemn Epiphany specifically dedicated to the upcoming holiday by the canons and troparions. So hymns in honor of the Epiphany are heard already since January 1st.
The Eve celebration is on 5 January. Vigil Service and the holiday are largely similar to the service and Vigil of the Nativity of Christ. But what is the date of Epiphany 2017? It will be 6 January. Epiphany, or Theophany, is also called the day of the Enlightenment and the holiday of light — from the ancient custom to do the day before.
After the Nobel Prize in 2016 given for confirming the effectiveness of fasting, even atheists listen to the thousand-year tradition of fasting. On the Eve of the Epiphany on January 5-th (as in Christmas Eve) by the Church is prescribed strict fast: eating once after the blessing of water.
The sanctity of the water is obvious to all manifested in the fact that it is preserved for a long time fresh and undamaged.
For people dive into the font associated with repentance — with a radical change of his inner world and the spiritual cleansing of the ulcers that hit all of us after the fall of Adam. A purified man becomes able to accept the grace which is conferred by Christ through Baptism. In the original Christianity baptized person going through the full three-time immersion with his head in the water. This tradition has been preserved by the Christian Old Believers.
Even for those who are not raised in a religious terminology, the water miracle opens hearts. Science looks at water no less tenderly, as great reverence of Christians. Life comes from the oceans. Without water, there would be no life, no humans. It had to be something flexible, transmitting various molecules in the structure capable of moving. Therefore, the solid state is not suitable for much complex structure of life that we see in the world. As gaseous substances don’t meet the requirements, because it does not preserve the shape and velocity of the molecules is too high and chaotic.
And finally, back to Epiphany bathing, which will take place when is Epiphany 2017. They have been mentioned earlier in this article. Do they have a sacred meaning, or is it purely folk tradition? Let’s just say — yes and no. There are no supernatural values, only a phenomenon of will power and quenching of human health. A man plunging into a hole, does so with faith and prayer in order to cleanse themselves of spiritual impurity. But usually this health practice is performed in the name of «sports interest», the spiritual benefits of such an event are highly questionable.
So from now know the beginning of this vast deep topic, and remember when is Epiphany in 2017, calendar — this holiday is on the 6th of January.