Sunday, January 06, 2008

Theophany with the Melkites

"Whereas in the West, Epiphany is celebrated as the revelation of God's love and compassion to all people, in the Christian East, this feast highlights the manifestation of the Trinity and the Divinity of Christ for the first time." (Fr. Jack Lynch, CSP)

In the East, the preferred title is the Feast of the Theophany (the manifestation of God). The Divine Liturgy this morning at Holy Transfiguration was especially rich and glorious. The troparion for the Feast recurs at various points in the liturgy (and was repeated many times at the very end, where, along with receiving the antedoron, the congregation also drank holy water from the font):
At your Baptism in the Jordan, O Lord, the worship of the Trinity was revealed: For the Father's voice bore witness to You by calling You His beloved Son. And the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the truth of these words. O Christ God, who have appeared to us, and enlightened the world, glory to You.
The readings and images are those of the Baptism of the Lord. (The text of the major antiphons/chants appears here.)

And, that stunningly beautiful baptismal chant was sung, in English and Arabic, in place of the Trisagion.
As many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Alleluia!
As always, the worship of the Christian east is beautiful and powerful, truly a foretaste of the heavenly liturgy!

Glory to you O God, Glory to you!

1 comment:

Kate said...

thanks for leaving the link--the arabic nativity hymn is heartbreakingly beautiful.