SOLEMN BLESSING OF THE WATER AT THE THEOPHANY

Translated by Fr. Michael Schudlo, CSsR

Priest:  Wisdom.

 Reader: A reading from the prophet Isaiah.   Pg. 315)

 Priest: Let us be attentive.

 Reader:  Thus says the Lord: With joy you will draw water at the fountain of salvation, and say on that day: Give thanks to the Lord, acclaim his name; among the nations make known his deeds, proclaim how exalted is his name. Sing praise to the Lord for his glorious achievement; let this be known throughout all the earth. Shout with exultation, O city of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel!

 Priest: Let us be attentive! Peace be with all. Wisdom. Let us be attentive!

 Prokimen Tone 3:  The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom need I fear?

Verse:  The Lord is my life’s refuge; of whom shall I be afraid?

Prokimen:  The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom need I fear?

 Priest:  Wisdom.

 Reader:  A reading from the first Epistle of Saint Paul to the Corinthians.    Pg. 228

Priest:  Let us be attentive.

 Reader:  Brothers and Sisters.

I want you to remember this: our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; the cloud and the sea baptized all of them into Moses. All ate the same spiritual food. All drank the same spiritual drink.  They drank from the spiritual rock that was following them, and the rock was Christ.

Priest:  Peace be with you. Wisdom! Let us be attentive.

 Choir:  Alleluia.  Alleluia.  Alleluia. 

 Alleluia Verse:  The voice of the Lord is over the waters, the God of glory thunders, the Lord over vast waters.

Alleluia Verse: Why is it, O Sea, that you flee? O Jordan that you turn back?

 Priest:  Wisdom! Stand aright! Let us listen to the Holy Gospel. Peace be with all.

 Choir: And with your spirit.

 Priest:  A reading of the holy Gospel according to Mark.

 Choir: Glory be to You, O Lord, glory be to You.

 Priest: Let us be attentive! It was at this time that Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John. No sooner had he come up out of the water than he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit, like a dove descending on him. A voice came from heaven: “You are my Beloved Son. My favour rests on you".

 Choir: Glory be to You, O Lord, glory be to You.

 EKTENIA OF SUPPLICATION

Priest: In peace let us pray to the Lord.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

 Priest: For the peace from on high, for the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

 Priest: That this water may be sanctified by the might and operation and descent of the Holy Spirit, let us pray to the Lord.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: That the cleansing operation of the Trinity, supreme in being, may come down upon these waters, let us pray to the Lord.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

 Priest: That these waters may be given the grace of redemption and the blessing of the Jordan by the power and operation and descent of the Holy Spirit, let us pray to the Lord.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

 Priest: That Satan may be swiftly crushed beneath our feet, and that every counsel that is directed against us by the Evil One, may be made to have no effect, let us pray to the Lord.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

 Priest: That He will deliver us from every attack and temptation of the Adversary, and make us worthy of the good things that are promised, let us pray to the Lord.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

 Priest: That we may be enlightened by the light of knowledge and godliness through the descent of the Holy Spirit, let us pray to the Lord.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

 Priest: That the Lord may send down the blessing of the Jordan and sanctify these waters, let us pray to the Lord.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

 Priest: That this water may become a gift of sanctification, a remission of sins, for the healing of soul and body and for every purpose that is expedient, let us pray to the Lord.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

 Priest: That this water may become a fountain springing unto eternal life, let us pray to the Lord.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

 Priest: That this water may serve to the averting of every evil purpose of enemies visible and invisible, let us pray to the Lord.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

 Priest: For those who draw from this water and take it for the sanctification of their homes, let us pray to the Lord.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

 Priest: That this water may bestow cleansing of soul and body upon all who draw it with faith and partake of it, let us pray to the Lord.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

 Priest: That we may be deemed worthy to be filled with holiness through partaking of these waters, by the visible manifestation of the Holy Spirit, let us pray to the Lord.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

 Priest: That the Lord God may hear the voice of supplication of us sinners and have mercy on us, let us pray to the Lord.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

 Priest: That we may be delivered from all tribulation, wrath and misfortune, let us pray to the Lord.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: Help and save, have mercy and protect us, O God, by Your grace.

 Choir: Lord, have mercy.

 Priest: Remembering our most holy and immaculate, most blessed and glorious Lady, the Mother of God and ever-virgin Mary, together with all the saints, let us commend ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.

 Choir: To You, O Lord.

 

PRAYER  OF  ST.  SOFRONIUS

Eternal and unchangeable, all-good, divine, almighty, enlightening all, invisible and inscrutable Trinity, Creator of all spiritual and rational beings; substantial Goodness. Inaccessible Light which enlightens everyone that comes into this world, shine also for me, your unworthy servant, illumine my spiritual eyes; that I may sing your immense goodness. May my prayer, said for these people, please you. May my sins not hinder your Holy Spirit, but allow me today without condemnation to sing and say to you:

All-good, we glorify you as our Lord and Lover of us all. Almighty and eternal King, we praise you Who are the Creator of all. Today the grace of the Holy Spirit has descended upon this water.  Today a creature lays his hand upon his Creator. Today the prophet and precursor comes to the Lord. Today the water of Jordan acquires a medicinal power because of the Lord's coming. Today the water of Jordan cleanses us of our sins. Today the heavens open for us and the Sun of justice is shining over us.

Today the Lord is being baptized in order to lead us to heaven. Today we have acquired the right to the heavenly Kingdom.  Today the river Jordan was taken aback when it saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove and coming down on Christ. The river Jordan was taken aback when it saw the Invisible who became
visible, that is, the Creator who became a creature, and the Lord who became a servant, drowned death in the Jordan and gave us the Sacrament of Baptism for the salvation of the world. This is why I, your sinful and unworthy servant, announcing your magnificent wonders, full of awe, sing to you:

(The priest sings this verse there times, making the sign

 of the cross over the water with lit candles.)

 

GREAT ARE YOU, O LORD, AND YOUR WORKS ARE WONDERFUL.  THIS IS WHY NO ONE CAN WORTHILY GLORIFY YOUR WONDERS. (3 x)

 

You have freely created everything out of nothing. You support everything with your power and rule the world by your providence.  The angels adore You because You are an indescribable God.  You came into this world, assuming the condition of a servant. You came and saved us. You, although You are our God, appeared on earth and lived among us. You have sanctified the water of Jordan and sent your Holy Spirit from heaven.

 

(The priest now says the following verse three times,

and each time he says it he blows upon the water

in the form of a cross:)

 

THEREFORE, O KING AND LOVER OF MANKIND, YOU YOURSELF BE PRESENT NOW AS THEN THROUGH THE DESCENT OF YOUR HOLY SPIRIT, AND SANCTIFY THIS WATER. (3 x)

And confer upon it the grace of redemption, the blessing of the Jordan. Make it a source of incorruption, a gift of sanctification, a remission of sins, a protection against disease, a destruction to demons, inaccessible to the adverse powers and filled with angelic strength; that all who draw from it and partake of it may have it for the cleansing of their soul and body, for the healing of their passions, for the sanctification of their homes, and for every purpose that is expedient. For You are our God, who has renewed through water and Spirit our nature grown old through sin. You are our God, who has drowned sin through water in the days of Noah. You are our God who, through the waters of the sea, at Moses' hand has set free the Hebrew nation from the bondage of Pharaoh. You are our God who has cleft the rock in the wilderness: the waters gushed out, the streams overflowed, and You have satisfied your thirsty people. You are our God who by water and fire through Elijah has brought back Israel from the error of Baal.

 (While blessing the water with his hand, he immerses into the water three times and says:)

DO YOU YOURSELF, O MASTER, NOW AS THEN, SANCTIFY THIS WATER BY YOUR HOLY SPIRIT.

 Grant to all those who touch it, who anoint themselves with it, or drink it, sanctification, blessing, cleansing and health. Save, O Lord our faithful nation and people, keep them in peace under your protection; bestow upon them whatever they ask unto salvation and eternal life. So, by the elements, by the angels and by men, by things visible and invisible, may your most holy Name be glorified, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and always, and for ever and ever.

Choir: Amen!

Priest: Peace be with all.

 Choir: And with your spirit.

 Priest: Bow your heads to the Lord.

 Choir: To You, O Lord.

(The priest says this prayer in a low voice:)

Incline your ear and hear us, O Lord who has accepted baptism in the Jordan and has sanctified the waters. Bless us all who by the bowing of our heads outwardly show You our servitude; and count us worthy to be filled with your
sanctification through partaking of this water and being sprinkled with it, and may it bring us, O Lord, health of body and soul.

 Priest: For You are the sanctification of our souls and bodies, and to You we give glory, thanksgiving, and worship, with Your Father without beginning and Your most holy, good, and life-giving Spirit, now and always, and for ever and ever.

 Choir: Amen!

 (The priest makes the sign of the cross over the water with the precious cross, singing this Tropar: tone 1)

 At your baptism in the Jordan, O Lord, worship of the Trinity was revealed; for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You his beloved Son, and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the truth of these words. O Christ God, who appeared and enlightened the world, glory be to You!

 The Tropar is repeated a second and third time by the choir. The priest then sprinkles with the holy water.

The Divine Liturgy continues.