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Orthodox Epiphany Day celebrated in Russia
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The Epiphany Day is celebrated by Orthodox believers today, January 19, the Parliamentskaya gazeta newspaper writes. Like Easter, it is considered the oldest Christian holiday.
The holiday is dedicated to the baptism of Jesus Christ, which was performed by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. In the church tradition, it was called the Epiphany - according to the Gospel, after Jesus plunged into the waters of the river, the appearance of all three faces of the Godhead occurred: God the Father testified of the Son and the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus in the form of a dove. Baptism symbolized the cleansing of sins after people repented.
Patriarch Kirill will hold the Divine Liturgy on Sunday in the Epiphany Elohovsky Cathedral of Moscow, where he will perform the great blessing of water. Holy water can be later collected by all comers. It is believed that it can be stored for a long time, heals diseases, helps fight evil forces.
The day before, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church noted that one should not expect immediate results from grace, as it is assimilated as soon as a person is ready to accept it. According to him, grace is served through the church and "the Holy Spirit, who acts and touches each of us."
One of the traditions of the holiday is dipping into an ice hole. It is believed that bathing in ice water helps to get rid of sins and protects from diseases. At the same time, swimming in an ice hole is a tradition. The church does not consider it mandatory.