Friday, January 6, 2012

Theophany Worship and Doctrine

Today the Orthodox Church celebrates Theophany, about which I have posted a time or two in the past. This year I found a blog by a young woman in Greece who has posted a rich mix of photos, videos and accounts describing the celebration of this feast around the world, and its meaning for us.

It all well illustrates the message of this short quote from the newsletter of my parish:

WORSHIP AND DOCTRINE:

“In the Tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church, doctrine and worship are inseparable. Worship is, in a certain sense, doctrinal testimony, reference to the events of Revelation. Thus, ‘dogmas are not abstract ideas in and for themselves but revealed and saving truths and realities intended to bring mankind into communion with God.’ One could say without hesitation that, according to Orthodox understanding, the fullness of theological thought is found in the worship of the Church.

This is why the term Orthodoxy is understood by many not as ‘right opinion,’ but as ‘right doxology,’ [that is,] ‘right worship.’”

—Archimandrite Zacharias, Ecclesial Being, pg. 88.
Those movies of people diving into icy waters make me consider in a more bracing way the scriptural exhortation to "present your bodies a living sacrifice...."

Some friends of ours celebrated Theophany at our Northern California beach last year, where the current brings chilly water from Alaska, giving the children who dove for that cross a bit of the experience of their fellow Orthodox in colder climates.

To all who celebrate in worship and truth, a most blessed feast!

Mosaic from Ss. Constantine and Helen Orthodox Church
Colorado Springs, Colorado

8 comments:

Marfa said...

I wish you a blessed feast!! I'm sure you know that MOST of the Orthodox, in Russia, Greece, Serbia and even a good chunk in the USA (like us) celebrate in 2 more weeks, following the old calendar ALL year (I know you celebrate Pascha old calendar and the rest of the feast days new calendar)!

Victoria said...

I have never taken the dip. probably never will. I'm a wimp when it comes to cold.

DebD said...

Blessed Feast to you! I love Theophany, the words of the prayers are so deep and powerful.

Jeannette said...

...righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit to you....

Gumbo Lily said...

Have you ever swum the cold waters to fetch the cross? Blessed feast day.

Laura A said...

I like the explanation of the word "orthodoxy" as not simply right opinion, but right worship.

llasblog said...

Oops. That was me! Forgot to sign in.

GretchenJoanna said...

No, Jody, I haven't, nor have I been present at an outdoor blessing of water. But our priest is thinking about going to the river next year and throwing the cross in there. I think it is usually those younger and heartier than my sort who compete for that prize. :-)