Πέμπτη, 5 Ιανουαρίου 2017

Προετοιμασίες για τον εορτασμό των Θεοφανείων στην Ρουάντα

Titus Twungubumwe

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THEOPHANY / EPIPHANY 2017 CELEBRATION
Apart from the Resurrection of Christ or Easter, a feast whose date of celebration is mobile, and which is the "feast of the feasts" of the Liturgical Year, there are other 12 big feasts in the Liturgical Year: 9 of them have a fixed date of celebration, while 3 others have a mobile date of celebration.
Among the feasts which have a fixed date of celebration is the feast of Theophany or Epiphany of our LORD Jesus Christ, which is celebrated on 6th January every year. In the Year 2015, Theophany was celebrated on Tuesday, in Year 2016 on Wednesday, and in this Year 2017 We celebrate it on this Friday!
I can remember that, in the year 2015, in our Orthodox Diocese of Burundi, Rwanda and East Congo, We enjoyed celebration of Theophany in a Divine Liturgy presided by His Eminence Innocentios BYAKATONDA, the Bishop of the same Orthodox Diocese, in the Cathedral of the Holy Dormition of the Theotokos, in Bujumbura – BURUNDI; in year 2016, the Bishop presided the Liturgy of Divine Worship for Theophany in the Parish of Holy Trinity / Nyamata – RWANDA, and for this year 2017, His Eminence Innocentios BYAKATONDA is expected to preside the Service of Theophany in the Orthodox Parish of Rwamagana / RWANDA, the Parish where He has also celebrated the Service of New Year 2017, and where is his temporary residence and office in this part of Diocese for the moment.
With the fatherly blessing of His Eminence Innocentios BYAKATONDA, allow me to address to you the following information about the Feast of Theophany / Epiphany of our LORD Jesus Christ.
The Theophany (Epiphany) celebrates the Baptism of Our LORD Jesus Christ. By reading the Good News of Jesus Christ, according to Saint Matthew 3:13-17, We see that Jesus is publicly proclaimed the Son of God at His Baptism. In humility, God the Creator submits to baptism by the hand of John the Baptist. With glory the Trinity is revealed: God the Son is manifest in the flesh; the voice of God the Father proclaims: " This is My Beloved Son;" and God Holy Spirit descends upon Christ in the form of a dove. Feast Day readings are Matthew 3: 13-17; Titus 2: 11-14; 3:4-7. You can see also: Matthew 3:1-11; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22; and Timothy3, 14-5,4.
In addition to the Divine Liturgy for celebation of Theophany / Epiphany of Our LORD Jesus Christ, the Bishop or the Priest who presides the liturgy makes the Service of Blessing of Holy Water.
This service can be organized on a river when there is one in the area, and if there is not, they simply make the Blessing of Water in an open wide container. This water is immediately used to bless people present during the service and to bless the homes, fields, animals...human business around. This Blessed Water can be drunk or used along the year for different blessing, as We believe that this blessed water is a healing water for different diseases, ailments, troubles, illness, sickness...of the soul, spirit, and body. Here is the reason the clergy and the laity around the Bishop or Priest presiding take a small quantity of this water in bottles for later use in the Church or at their homes. For the carried water is of a small quantity, the people will have to add it to other much water, and all the water becomes all blessed.
I am inviting my sisters, brothers and friends to join me celebrate this Theophany 2017, as I also celebrate my Second Anniversary of Appointment as a Reader of the Greek Orthodox Diocese of Burundi, Rwanda and East Congo. I do have a lively memory of Theophany 2015 Celebration, an event which happened in the Cathedral of Holy Dormition of the Theotokos / Bujumbura, and I am happy to attach to this publication, some pictures of the day for you to enjoy the celebration.
Indeed, the Reader' Ministry is the 1st step towards the service to the Holy Altar which precedes the Ministry of Sub-Deacon in the Orthodox Church. In the Liturgical Service, the Reader generally collaborates with the chanters, and ever makes the readings of the epistles. In the catechetical activity, the Reader teaches people who prepare to receive the different sacraments and helps in their continual training. In the pastoral activity, especially in the starting Diocese, the Reader may represent a starting community, as I am doing in the Orthodox Communities of Mount Kigali & Mount Fumbwe / Nyagasambu.
I wish a Happy Celebration of the Feast of Theophany to all and to everyone!
Reader Timotheos (Tito) TWUNGUBUMWE
Orthodox Church In Rwanda


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