On the Eve of Epiphany

In the tranquility of the mystical night of the Epiphany’s Eve, as the waters of earth and heaven and all of nature and every creature prepare to be sanctified by the grand mystery of the Lord’s Baptism and His manifestation to the world, the grace-filled sighs of repentance and the unvoiced prayer of the inner man penetrated the souls of the faithful gathered in the Bigorski Sanctuary during the all-night vigil. The Precursor’s temple, enveloped in the fragrance of incense and the echo of ancient scriptures, psalmody, and hymnography, stood as a fortress for self-awareness and spiritual rebirth. Under the light of candles and lamps, among the many present in the temple, were the godfathers of the cross from the surrounding villages in Miyaks region, their hearts brimming with faith and hope in the honorable Cross of the Lord. Their faces, soothed by the sanctity’s gentleness, bore witness to the age-old fidelity to Christ.

And all present, united in one Spirit, in the Lord’s Spirit over the waters, gratefully followed the instructive words of our beloved Elder, Bishop of Antania, Mr. Partenij, whose voice, filled with deep faith and concern for the salvation of souls, guided the listeners’ thoughts towards the essence of repentance.

At the end of the grace-filled vigil, according to the typikon of the Holy Church, Bishop Mr. Partenij performed the rite of the Great Epiphany Water Blessing. And as dawn stamps its rays over the calm water, so too did God’s grace descend upon the waters in that holy sequence. Each droplet of water that sprinkled the faithful was a carrier of heavenly grace, of supreme purity, and the message of spiritual renewal and rebirth through redemptive repentance.