Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Maronite Year XV

In the Maronite calendar, Epiphany or Theophany (Denho in the Syriac) is specifically concerned with the Baptism of Christ. Indeed, this is practically guaranteed by the structure of the Sundays: Advent led up to the Birth of Christ, which was followed by the Finding in the Temple, when Jesus was about 12, and now we in a sense complete the narrative as we find it in Luke. And this is reaffirmed by the fact that the day following the Epiphany is always the Memorial of the Praises of John the Baptist.

Feast of the Glorious Epiphany
Titus 2:11-3:7; Luke 3:15-22

Are You not, O Lord, the Way,
through whose bright lustral waters
we become children of God,
those in whom He is well pleased?
And are You not He, O Lord,
by whose light the nations came
to find their great salvation
and rejoice to know their King?

By You, forgiving Ember,
the waters were filled with light,
for in Your light we see light,
and are illuminated.
In the river called Jordan
one God was manifested:
the Father declared His Son
with the Spirit upon Him.

Christ was born and was baptized
that we might be saved by Him;
that simple creature, water,
was exalted to serve God.
None can enter the kingdom
save by water and Spirit,
save by being adopted,
being washed in the Jordan.

Today the waters are blessed,
set aflame with holiness;
our leprosies are thus healed
by the salvation of God.
The grace of God dawns on us
for holy lives of justice,
that we may be set apart
and seek to do noble deeds.

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