January 4, 2013

The Forefeast of Holy Theophany (Day Three)

The third day of the Forefeast of Theophany falls on January 4. The hymns compare the Feast of the Nativity with the coming Feast. "There shepherds saw the Child and were amazed; here the voice of the Father proclaims the only-begotten Son."

From the Church hymns for this day: "The feast of light is accomplished before all in the Theophany of Christ", "come to the Jordan, let us assemble to be cleansed and to sing the Forefeast". "Leave Bethlehem for the country of Jordan, you who delight in wonders, and there you will see deeds mysteriously accomplished": "Jesus the King of all the earth", "Son of Father without Beginning", "as a man in essence, not in fantasy", "coming humbly to the son of Zechariah", "requesting baptism". "Receive in a manner fitting a slave, O Prophet John, the Deliverer of the world, and baptize the Creator for the rebirth of mortals". "Let the mountains leap for joy, let the hills vest themselves in joy, let the corrupted be prepared for divine cleansing". "Awaken O Soul, to be cleansed of passions, blossoming through offering good deeds".

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Be thou ready, Zabulon; prepare thyself, O Nephthalim. River Jordan, stay thy course and skip for gladness to receive the Sovereign Master, Who cometh now to be baptized. O Adam, be thou glad with our first mother, Eve; hide not as ye did of old in Paradise. Seeing you naked, He hath appeared now to clothe you in the first robe again. Christ hath appeared, for He truly willeth to renew all creation.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
In the running waters of the Jordan River, on this day the Lord of all crieth to John: Be not afraid and hesitate not to baptize Me, for I am come to save Adam, the first-formed man.