The great feast of the Lord’s Theophany was celebrated in our Lady of Pochaev Church in North Port, FL.
In keeping with the rubrics, on the eve of the feast, Wednesday, January 18, Royal Hours were served and the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great celebrated. After Liturgy, the Rite of the Great Blessing of the War was performed, followed that evening by Great Compline, Litia, and Matins.
On Thursday morning, January 19, the very day of the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Divine Liturgy was celebrated and the Great Blessing of the Water performed. Despite its being a workday, over 70 people were in attendance at church. Parish rector Archimandrite Stefan (Khilchuk) greeted all with the feast and explained the meaning of the Theophany and the Great Agiasma in the life of an Orthodox Christian.
Also concelebrating at the service were Archpriest Constantine Desrosiers (cleric of St. Xenia Church in Methuen, MA), Priest Artemy Makartetsky (cleric of the UOC Diocese of Chernigov), and Hierodeacon Paisius (Alexeevets; UOC cleric). Parish cleric Hieromonk Arkadii (Polishchuk) was heard confessions and helped in the choir.
The feast concluded with a parish luncheon for all and fraternal interaction.