Valley Forge, PA – The Divine Liturgy for the Feast of Theophany (Epiphany) was hosted yesterday at St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church. Following church services, Father Peter Thornberg and a group of parishioners drove to the Schuylkill River just minutes away from the church, where they conducted the second half of the Epiphany Day service.
There, faithful Christians commemorated the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River by Saint John the Baptist. Father Thornberg continued with the ceremony by blessing the waters, by casting a cross into the river. This ritual is seen as his manifestation to the world as the Son of God, that’s why it is also called Theophany (God shining forth or divine manifestation) or Phota (Lights).
The Greek Orthodox Church teaches that on that day a miracle happens as the nature of water changes and becomes incorrupt. Sprinkling the Theophany Waters also cleans the world of the mischief-prone Kallikantzaroi, the goblins try to torment God-fearing Christians through the festive season.