On 6 January 2021 the Armenian Apostolic Church of Holy Resurrection celebrated The Feast of the Nativity and Theophany of our Lord Jesus Christ.
An Episcopal Divine Liturgy commemorated the Good News of Christ’s Birth and Revelation as God’s Son.
At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, His Eminence Archbishop Haigazoun Najarian, conducted the Blessing of Water, symbolising the Baptism of Christ in the River Jordan and his Revelation as God’s Son at the commencement of His ministry.
Archbishop Najarian immersed a large cross into the water basin which symbolises the baptism of Jesus in the water of the Jordan river. A dove shaped silver container of Holy Muron (or Holy Oil) was then brought forth and placed near the basin. Various scripture passages from the Bible were read reminding the believers of the fact that the water is the “womb” of our physical and spiritual birth. Jesus became the source of life giving water for all who drink from his fountain (John 6:35, Rev 22:17). With hymn and prayers, including a prayer written by St. Basil, the service continued until the celebrant took the cross out of the water and gave it to the Godfather of the cross, young Sarkis Zilifian.
The Godfather is typically a young member of the congregation as he represents the congregation, on whose behalf he caries the baby Jesus . The Holy oil, Muron, which symbolises the Holy Spirit is then poured into the water reminding us of the descent of the Holy Spirit in the shape of a dove on the newly baptised Jesus.
The Procession (tapor) then continued onto the Edgarian Hall where His Eminence blessed the bread, the water and the salt, a tradition after each of the major Feast Days. These three fundamental elements are essential life giving gifts for human life. The bread, which symbolically represents the Word of God, grants life to all those who taste it. The salt seasons our food and makes it delicious and edible. Metaphorically salt represents man in this world with his words and deeds. Christ said, “You are the salt of the earth.” Man’s life should be seasoned with wisdom, moderation or sense of sufficiency. Finally, water which is the most essential element of life, figuratively represents cleanliness. It’s through water that we are cleansed by baptism, renewed in Christ, and united with Him.
The attending faithful were then able to take home the individually packed salt, bread and water.
We thank our clergy, deacons, altar servers, choir members and parishioners who all contributed to this beautiful celebration whilst still complying with all the Covid-19 rules in place.