On Thursday the 18th and Friday the 19th of January, the brethren of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY celebrated the great feast of the Theophany of the Lord. Officiating the divine services was the monastery’s abbot, His Grace, Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop Luke of Syracuse.
Royal Hours for the feast were served on Thursday morning. Shortly thereafter the greeting of the bishop took place, following by the vesting and the Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil the Great. During the Old Testament readings, the clergy chanted the praises antiphonally with the choir. At the conclusion of Liturgy, the Great Blessing of Water was performed. The clergy, followed by the faithful, processed to the bell tower for this ceremony. Bishop Luke poured some water from the Jordan River into the font. As His Grace lowered the Cross into the water of the baptistry font, all the bells pealed. Then all returned to the church as the hierarch blessed the church with holy water. Liturgy concluded with the intoning of the Polychronion.
There is only one meal on this day in the monastery, in keeping with the strict fasting of Theophany Eve. Before the meal, priests went throughout all the buildings of the monastery to bless all of the rooms with the new holy water.
That evening, All-Night Vigil, consisting of Great Compline, Litia, and Matins, was served. Bishop Luke led the Polyeleos.
The following day, after the greeting of the bishop, the hours and the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom were served. Again, at the end of Liturgy, the Great Blessing of Water was performed.
On the following day, the brethren celebrated the Synaxis of St. John the Baptist.
Thus end the "Holy Days" of Christmastide. We thank God that, despite so much disorder in the world around us, we are able to celebrate the feasts of the Church and observe in our humble way the piety of the traditions handed down to us.