The Blessing of Water…
As far as is known, our Earth is the only planet in our solar system that has liquid water for the sustaining of life. “This unique substance is the focus of serious attention throughout the world as the United Nations has declared the 1980’s as the “Decade of Water”
But the Church has always known how vital water is. The Church has blessed water for ages and called it holy. One of the most solemn acts of our ritual is the Great Blessing of the Water of the Jordan which takes place at the Feast of Theophany. This holiday commemorates the baptism of Our Lord at the hands of St. John the Baptism.
The baptism of Christ, which marks the beginning of His public life, has great theological significance. “The church views it as a symbolic act of considerable magnitude. It marks the redemption of nature, it typifies the reconciliation of creation which has been marred by man’s sin. Water, through the action of Christ at His baptism, has become the vehicle for the sanctification of earth and man.”
Note how extensively the Church uses water. We are born as children of God in the waters of Baptism. Water is mixed with wine as the cup is prepared for the Holy Eucharist. We bless ourselves, our churches, our homes, and various articles with the waters of Theophany. No wonder the child of the Church learns early in life to have a reverence for this basic element of nature.
We hear this proclamation at the blessing service: “Great art Thou, O Lord, and wonderful are Thy works, and no word does justice to the praise of Thy wonders.”