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Church

Holy Theophany Celebrated at St. Thomas Community in Cherry Hill, NJ (Photos)

CHERRY HILL – The Holy Feast of the Epiphany/Theophany was celebrated at St. Thomas Greek Orthodox Church in Cherry Hill, NJ with presiding priest of the community Fr. Avgoustinos Psomas leading the services on January 6.

The Feast Day commemorates the baptism of Jesus Christ, the manifestation of Christ as both fully human and fully divine, and the appearance of the Holy Trinity, which is why the Feast is known as the Epiphany and as the Theophany. The celebration of the feast also includes the Blessing of the Waters. Following the Divine Liturgy, the priest blesses the water and then blesses the congregation with a bunch or bunches of basil dipped in the blessed water as the hymn for the Feast Day is chanted.

At the conclusion of the indoor services, in warmer climates, the Blessing of the Waters includes the ceremony of a cross being tossed into a nearby body of water to be retrieved by swimmers. In colder areas, the presiding priest usually blesses the body of water by tossing in a cross tied with a string or rope which can then be retrieved without anyone jumping into frigid waters.

Also traditionally, the faithful invite their local priest to bless their homes and businesses at this time of year.

The Holy Feast of the Epiphany/Theophany was celebrated at St. Thomas Greek Orthodox Church in Cherry Hill, NJ with presiding priest of the community Fr. Avgoustinos Psomas leading the services on January 6. (Photo: Steve Lambrou)
The Holy Feast of the Epiphany/Theophany was celebrated at St. Thomas Greek Orthodox Church in Cherry Hill, NJ with presiding priest of the community Fr. Avgoustinos Psomas leading the services on January 6. (Photo: Steve Lambrou)
The Holy Feast of the Epiphany/Theophany was celebrated at St. Thomas Greek Orthodox Church in Cherry Hill, NJ with presiding priest of the community Fr. Avgoustinos Psomas leading the services on January 6. (Photo: Steve Lambrou)

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