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Slovak and Carpatho-Rusyn Genealogical Research

Christmas in the Carpatho-Rusyn Tradition

Feast of Theophany - January 6

To Jordan's Water

To Jordan's water, to Jordan's water
Christ comes to be baptized.
John the Forerunner, John the Forerunner,
Now humbly steps aside.
Christ Our Lord is baptized.
Salvation is now realized.
Skies of heaven open,
God the Father spoken,
O'er the Jordan a Dove,
Holy Spirit of Love -
Revelation from above.

Three Persons in God, Three Persons in God,
Are now revealed to us.
Father and Son, Father and Son,
Holy Spirit - One God.
Christ Our Lord is baptized.
Salvation is now realized.
Skies of heaven open,
God the Father spoken,
O'er the Jordan a Dove,
Holy Spirit of Love -
Revelation from above.

Saint John the Baptist, Saint John the Baptist,
Foretells release today.
The Lamb of God, the Lamb of God,
Will wash our sins away.
Christ Our Lord is baptized.
Salvation is now realized.
Skies of heaven open,
God the Father spoken,
O'er the Jordan a Dove,
Holy Spirit of Love -
Revelation from above.

As a continuation of the celebration of the birth and life of Christ, the Theophany hymn "To Jordan's Water" consists of additional verses added to the popular Christmas koledy, Nebo i Zeml'a.

The Feast of Theophany has been celebrated since the second century and is one of the oldest holy days of the Church, predating the celebration of Christmas by over 100 years. The Church attaches great importance to the feast because of its deep theological significance.

When Jesus was thirty years old, He left Nazareth and went to Saint John the Baptist upon the shores of the River Jordan and was baptized by John. While Jesus was standing in the water, the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove appeared over Him, and God the Father made His voice heard from heaven, "This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased!"

The feast is called Theophany because at the baptism of Christ in the River Jordan God appeared in three persons.

The people attending services on the Feast of Theophany bring a container with them to take home some of the holy water from the services. The holy water is kept in the home for use throughout the year.

It is an eastern European tradition to have your home blessed by the parish priest following the Feast of Theophany with the holy water that was blessed during the services on that day.

Be sure to read the postings at the Slovak Research Forum on the blessing of homes and related customs.

If you enjoyed the hymn "To Jordan's Water", drop Randall Kopchak a note at rgkopchak@SlovakShop.com and let him know what you think of the music. He may even be willing to do your special request!

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Midi Arr. of To Jordan's Water, Copyright 1996, Randall Kopchak
English translation - Rev. Basil Kraynyak