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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Georgian Orthodox Church celebrates Epiphany


Tbilisi,Georgi,  19 Jan 2015 - Orthodox Christians in Georgia and across the world are celebrating Epiphany today where the Georgian Orthodox Church holds a mass baptism and water blessing rituals on this day.

Epiphany is one of the 12 main Christian feasts that celebrated the revelation of the son of God as a human being in Jesus Christ. The occasion commemorated the baptism of Jesus Christ in the Jordan River by John the Baptist.

The majority of Georgia’s population are Orthodox Christian so today is a public holiday in the country.
Catholicos Patriarch of Georgia Ilia II and members of the Holy Synod led a festive liturgy at the country's main cathedral, Holy Trinity Cathedral in central Tbilisi.

After the liturgy a great water blessing ceremony will be held in the yard of the Holy Trinity Cathedral, led by Patriarch Ilia II.

Those in attendance will be sprinkled with holy water and will be able to take some holy water home after the ceremony. It is believed the holy water contained immortal features of the river Jordan. In times of sickness or trouble, believers can drink the water to help aid them in their discomfort.

The ceremony will end later this afternoon after the Patriarch has baptized hundreds of children. 


    


To date, the Patriarch is godfather to more than 22,000 children. 

The initiative launched in 2008 and is open to Orthodox families with three or more children. The project aimed to improve the demographic situation in the country - as couples with three or more children could get their youngsters baptized and blessed by the Patriarch.

The Epiphany celebration commemorated the baptism of Jesus Christ in the Jordan River by John the Baptist.

Last night the Black Sea was blessed by the Archbishop of Batumi and Lazeti Dimitry before hundreds of people braved the cold Batumi water and took part in a traditional ceremony commonly known as the Epiphany dip.

It is believed the water of Epiphany is full of healing properties and can purify you of your sins.




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