Orthodox Christianity

20-01-2024, Mechelen

The Holy Theophany in Mechelen

After the Christmas fast comes the Holy Days, known as Svyatki. The word "svyatki" is derived from the verb "svyatit," as during the Holy Days, the people "consecrate" or glorify Christ, His Nativity, Circumcision, and Baptism. Specifically, Baptism, or as it is called, the Holy Theophany, is the main feast for the Orthodox parish in the city of Mechelen. This year marks its first jubilee, ten years since its inception, for this uniquely young but already well-established community.

The feast was presided over by Archbishop Simon of Brussels and Belgium, accompanied by clergy from the diocese: Archpriest Alexander Yavarovsky, Priest Alexander Nichiporuk, Priest Dimitri Jatsun, Priest Andrei Pope, Priest Andrei Krayushkin, and Deacon Vladimir Gobernik, Vladimir Shitikov, Oleg Ageenko, Daniil Dobrovinsky, and Maxim Burla.

Beautiful and prayerful hymns were performed by the youth diocesan choir under the direction of Inna Skrobovskaya.

Mechelen is the capital of Catholicism in Belgium, and warm relations have developed between the parish and representatives of this Christian confession. Honorary guests, Jean-Luc Hudsyn, who serves as the vicar bishop of Walloon Brabant, and Deacon Koen Jacobs, arrived to celebrate the occasion.

In a gesture of friendship, Archbishop Simon presented the guests with a gift - an icon of the Baptism of the Lord, painted by one of the parishioners of the diocese.

On behalf of the parish, Father Dimitri presented Bishop Simon with funds collected for the construction of a temple in Liège. This year became a triple jubilee for the parish priest, and the archbishop also congratulated him on ten years of priestly service and fifty years.

Following the Divine Liturgy, the rite of the Great Blessing of Water was performed.

After the church service, the celebration continued in the banquet hall, where congratulations, live music, and, of course, carols were heard.

And as the troparion of the Baptismal feast proclaims: "In the Jordan, being baptized, O Lord, the worship of the Trinity was revealed: for the voice of the Father bore witness to You, calling You His beloved Son, and the Spirit, in the form of a dove, confirmed the word of truth. Manifest Yourself, O Christ our God, and enlighten the world, glory to You."
Therefore, reveal Yourself, O Lord, and guide the world on the path of truth.