SERVICE OF THE GREAT BLESSING OF THE WATERS
Priest: Blessed is our God, now and forever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Reader 1: The voice of the Lord upon the waters cries out, saying, ‘Come all of you, receive the Spirit of wisdom, the Spirit of understanding, the Spirit of the fear of God, of Christ who has appeared’.
Reader 2: At the voice of the one crying in the desert, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord’, you came, Lord, having taken the form of a servant, asking for Baptism, though you did not know sin. The waters saw you and were afraid. The Forerunner trembled and cried out, saying, ‘How will the lamp enlighten the Light? How will the servant place his hand on the Master Saviour, who takes away the sin of the world, make me and the waters holy’.
Reader 3: The Reading is from the 1st Epistle of St Paul to the Corinthians. [10,1-4]
Brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be ignorant of how our Fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea. And they were all baptised into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. And they all ate the same spiritual food. And they all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them. Now the rock was Christ.
Priest: The reading is from the Gospel according to St. Mark (1,9-11)
♪ Glory to you, O Lord, glory to you
At that time, Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptised by John in the Jordan. And immediately as he was coming up from the water, he saw the heavens being parted and the Spirit like a dove coming down upon him. And there was a voice from heaven, ‘You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’
♪ Glory to you…
Priest: In peace, let us pray to the Lord.
♪ Ya Rab urham (repeat after each petition)
For the peace from above and for God's loving kindness towards humanity, and the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord.
For the peace of the whole world, the well-being of the holy churches of God and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord.
For our prayer, that it may be heard and be well accepted by God and that God's mercies and compassion be sent to us, let us pray to the Lord.
That this water may be sanctified by the power, operation and descent of the Holy Spirit, let us pray to the Lord.
That there may descend upon this water the cleansing operation of the con-substantial Trinity, let us pray to the Lord.
For this water to be given the grace of redemption, the blessing of Jordan, let us pray to the Lord.
That this water be for the healing of the souls and bodies of all those who, with faith, shall draw and partake of it, let us pray to the Lord.
For this water to be shown to be an averting of every assault of visible and invisible enemies, let us pray to the Lord.
Commemorating our all-holy, pure, most blessed and glorious Lady, Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary, with all the Saints, let us entrust ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.
♪ To You O Lord
For You are a good and loving God, and to you we give glory, to the Father and to the Son and to the holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages.
Priest: For by your own will you brought the universe from non-existence into being, you hold creation together by your might, and by your providence you direct the world… The sun sings your praise, the moon glorifies you, the stars entreat you, the light obeys you, the deeps tremble before you, the springs are your servants. You stretched out the heavens on the waters; you walled in the sea with sand; you poured out the air for breathing. Angelic Powers minister to you. The choirs of the Archangels worship you… For you, being God uncircumscribed, without beginning and inexpressible, came upon earth, taking the form of a servant, being found in the likeness of mortals. For you could not bear, Master, in the compassion of your mercy to watch the human race being tyrannized by the devil, but you came and saved us. We acknowledge your grace, we proclaim your mercy, we do not conceal your benevolence. You freed the generations of our race. You sanctified a virgin womb by your birth. All creation sang your praise when you appeared. For you are our God who appeared on earth and lived among mortals...
Therefore, o Lord, who loves humankind, be present, You, yourself, now as then, through the descent of your Holy Spirit, and sanctify this water (3x)
And give to it the grace of redemption and the blessing of Jordan. Make it a source of incorruption, a gift of sanctification, a deliverance from sins, an averting of diseases, unapproachable by hostile powers, filled with angelic strength. That all who draw from it and partake of it may have it for cleansing of souls and bodies, for healing of passions, for sanctification of homes, for every suitable purpose. For you are our God, who through water and Spirit renewed our nature made old by sin. You are our God, who in the days of Noah drowned sin through the water of the flood. You are our God, who through Moses freed the Hebrew race from the slavery of Pharaoh through the sea. You are our God who split open the rock in the desert, and waters rushed out and torrents flooded down, and you satisfied your thirsty people. You are our God, who through Elias turned Israel from the error of Baal.
And now, Master, do you yourself sanctify this water by your Holy Spirit. (3x)
Give to all who partake of it sanctification, blessing, cleansing, health.
For you are the sanctification of our souls and bodies, and to you we give glory, thanksgiving and worship, with your Father who is without beginning, and your All-holy, good and life-giving Spirit, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages.
♪ Troparion of Epiphany
The blessing of the house:
The Priest blesses the oil three times with the Sign of the Cross, and says:
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
O Lord, our God, look down now with mercy on the prayer of Your humble and unworthy servant, and send down the Grace of Your Most-holy Spirit on this oil, and sanctify it, that it may be for the sanctification of this place and on this house, and for the expelling of every contrary power and satanic snare: For You are He that blesses and sanctifies all things, O Christ, our God, and unto You do we send up glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
O God our Savior, Who entered under the roof of Zacchaeus, bringing salvation unto him and unto his house: do You, the same Lord, keep safe also from harm those who dwell in this Ecumenical Center; grant to them Your blessing, Your everlasting peace, purification and bodily and spiritual health, and all their petitions that are unto salvation and life eternal; for blessed are You, as also Your Father Who is from everlasting, and Your All-Holy, Good and Life-creating Spirit, both now and ever, and to the ages of ages.
♪ Troparion of Epiphany.
During this time the priest takes the holy water and sprinkles, with it, all the walls of the house in crosswise form, and all its rooms, saying:
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, by the sprinkling of this holy water, let every evil power and activity be put to flight.
And taking the oil, the priest anoints, with it, the walls of the house saying at each:
This house is blessed through the anointing of this holy oil, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Concluding prayers (Polihronios)
Grant, O Lord, many years, health and salvation to all the staff of this Ecumenical Center and to their families, relatives and friends; to the visitors and all the supporters of the Ecumenical Movement and keep them under your protection and help for many years.
And grant them, O Lord, many years:
♪ Mnogaia Leta