We Orthodox anticipate our Feasts with special hymns (Troparia and Kontakia). I am always a little sad when the Theophany comes around. It ends the Feasting in celebration of the Nativity. Tomorrow, Sunday, will be a wine and oil day – no meat, fish, eggs, cheese, etc. The weeks following Theophany have fish, wine and oil on Wednesdays and Fridays, so it’s almost like not fasting. All too soon, the second week in February will come around – the Fast-Free week prior to the beginning of Great Lent.
But for now, we joyfully celebrate the Theophany of Christ – His Baptism in the Jordan river by the Forerunner and Baptist, John (Jan 6 / 19).
The Troparion for tomorrow is this:
Troparion of the Forefeast
The River Jordan was once turned back by the mantle of Elisha / when Elijah had been taken up, / and the waters were divided hither and thither. / And for him the watery path became dry, / verily as a type of baptism, / whereby we cross the flowing stream of life. // Christ hath appeared in the Jordan to sanctify the waters.
Kontakion of the Forefeast
In the running waters of Jordan today / the Lord cried to John: / Be not afraid to baptize Me, / for, I am come to save Adam, // the first-fashioned man.