“The Blessing of the Waters on the feast of Theophany originated in the Church of Jerusalem and in the fourth to fifth centuries was performed only in this Church: the faithful came to the river Jordan for Blessing of the Waters in commemoration of the Baptism of the Savior. That is why on the feast of Theophany water is usually blessed in rivers, streams and wells (“walk to Jordan” processions), because Christ was baptized outside the Church. But on the Eve of Theophany water is blessed in churches,” writes Germogen Shimanskiy in his article on liturgics for the seminary.
One hundred years ago: “Procession to the Jordan with the Holy Royal Passion Bearer, Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II.
“Grant sanctification, blessing, cleansing and health to all those who have contact with it, and to those upon whom it is poured, and to those who receive of it,” says the prayer of the Great Blessing of the Waters. So let us make an effort, so that in coming into contact with the Great Agiasma would bring us health not just of the body, but also of the soul. Let us pray, go to church services, confess often, and as our strength allows, worthily partake of Christ’s Holy Gifts, sanctifying both soul and body.
Over the past centuries the tradition of immersion in blessed waters developed in each Local Orthodox Church in its own unique way. This is what you will see in the photo gallery below.