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Island Churches & Icons

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submitted by Stephen Trifyllis on 30.03.2014

over 100 year old artefact !

a artefact inside the holy church of myrtithia, this piece has been donated by the family that is signed on the candle holder ...

Photos > Island Churches & Icons

submitted by Stephen Trifyllis on 30.03.2014

'' in all his glory ''

at the helm is the bishop of kythera on this wonderful 15th august service at myrtithia 2013, I have been to the service so many times in past years and it is always a special day ..

Photos > Island Churches & Icons

submitted by Stephen Trifyllis on 30.03.2014

PACKED HOUSE.. !!

as usual large crowds at myrtithia on the 15th august 2013 service

Photos > Island Churches & Icons

submitted by Barbara Zantiotis on 28.03.2014

Agia Anastasia 1986

This photo was taken in August 1986.

Photos > Island Churches & Icons

submitted by Kytherian Religious Consciousness on 02.03.2014

Panagia Myrtidiotissa

Commemorated on September 24

[[picture:"Panagia Myrtidiotissa Sept 24.jpg" ID:22128]]

"The Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos "Of the Myrtle Tree" (Myrtidiotissa) is in the monastery church of Myrtides on the Greek island of Kythera. It derives its name from the fact that it was found in a myrtle bush in the fourteenth century.

At that time, a shepherd was tending his sheep in a deserted valley which was filled with myrtle bushes. On September 24, forty days after the Dormition, the Mother of God appeared to him and told him to seek her icon which had been brought to that place many years before.

The shepherd fell to the ground in amazement, praying to the Theotokos. As soon as he got up and turned around, he saw the icon in the branches of a myrtle bush. Weeping for joy, he brought the icon home and told his friends and relatives about how he had found it.

When he awoke the next morning, the shepherd found the icon missing, and thought that perhaps someone had stolen it during the night. With a heavy heart, he led his sheep back to the spot where he had found the icon. To his amazement, he saw the icon once again in the branches of the myrtle bush. Glorifying God, the man took the icon home with him once more. The next morning, it had disappeared just as it had before. When this happened a third time, the shepherd realized that the Mother of God wanted her icon to remain where it had first appeared.

[[picture:"Picture of the original icon of Panagia Myrtidiotissa, Kythera.jpg" ID:22129]]

Picture of the original icon of Panagia Myrtidiotissa, Kythera

A small church was built to house the icon, and was called "Of the Myrtle Tree," after the icon. The building was replaced and enlarged over the years, and many miracles took place there.

At the end of the sixteenth century Theodore Koumprianos, a descendant of the shepherd who found the icon, lived in the village of Kousoumari. He was a paralytic, and had an unshakeable faith that the Mother of God would heal him. Each year on September 24 he sent a family member to the church to light candles for him. One year he asked to be carried there by his family so that he might venerate the icon himself. During the Vigil, a great noise was heard coming from the direction of the sea. People fled the church, thinking that pirates were attacking. The paralytic remained in the church by himself, entreating the Mother of God for protection. Suddenly, he heard a voice from the icon telling him to get up and flee. He stood up, and then walked out of the church. Soon he was able to run and catch up with his relatives, who rejoiced upon seeing this miracle. As it turned out, there was no pirate attack, and the noise was regarded as a sign of God's providence so that the paralytic could remain alone in church with the icon. Since that time the Koumprianos family has celebrated the icon's Feast Day with a special reverence, since Theodore had been healed on that day.

Some of the other miracles associated with the Most Holy Theotokos and her icon "Of the Myrtle Tree" include protection of the island from the plague, ending the barrenness of a Jewish woman from Alexandria, saving people from death, and many other great wonders.

Pilgrims come to venerate the icon on the Feast of the Dormition (August 15), and also on the day of its discovery (September 24)."

[[picture:"Panagia_Myrtidiotissa 2.jpg" ID:22130]]

Another icon of Panagia Myrtidiotissa

A miracle of Panagia Myrtidiotissa (amateur translation)

A ship was traveling at sea, when there began a terrible storm. Frigid fear seized the captain and crew. It was not like today. Then the boats were wooden. And they had sails! And the old boat started leaking. The pump worked continuously, but it didn’t do any good, and the boat started to sink. If the ship were lost what good were lifeboats and life jackets? All felt that every hope was lost. And then their minds turned to the Virgin Mary, who is the "hope of the hopeless”.

-Come, Panagia Myrtidiotissa, patroness and protector of our island. Save us. Pity our children and our elderly parents, who are waiting for us! ...

Just before the boat sank, suddenly appeared among them an all-illumined woman who said:

"I’ve come! Don’t be afraid! Your ship will be saved!

And she plunged into the sea with a sponge in hand and closed the hole that had opened on board! In a few minutes, the boat went quiet on his way. They went at the first port they reached for repair. And what a miracle they saw! They saw the hole, which was opened on board, blocked by the sponge that was held in the hands of the Panagia when she appeared in the boat! Everyone saw this miracle. Full of emotion, the captain bought clean wax and made a candle like the mast of the boat. He also brought the sponge that the Panagia had in a box. He also made a small silver boat. And he returned to his homeland, the island of Chios. All went to the monastery of Panagia Myrtidiotissa. And when he went to venerate the miraculous icon, filled with emotion he cried out:

- That's her! We saw her! My Panagia! My Panagia! ...

All of them knelt in front of the Panagia. They did their cross in reverence. They thanked her from the depth of their souls, and offered their small gifts, which are kept up till the present day.

[[picture:"Panagia_Myrtidiotissa_3.jpg" ID:22131]]

Ἀπολυτίκιον Ἦχος δ' Ταχὺ προκατάλαβε
Λαοί νῦν κροτήσωμεν,δεῦτε τάς χεῖρας πιστῶς καί ἄσωμεν ἄσμασι τῇ Θεομήτορι ἐν πόθῳ κραυγάζοντες˙ Χαῖρε ἡ προστασία πάντων τῶν δεομένων Χαῖρε ἡ σωτηρία τῶν τιμώντων σε πόθῳ, Χαῖρε ἡ τῷ παραλύτῳ τήν ἴασιν βραβεύσασα.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone (Amateur translation)
O people now let us clap our hands in faith and sing songs to the Mother of God crying out with fervor, Hail the protection of all those in danger, Hail the salvation of those who honor you with longing, Hail you who granted healing to the paralytic.

Ρᾶνον θείοις μύροις τόν σόν λαόν, ἡ ἐν μυρτιδίοις ἀνατείλασα θαυμαστῶς, ἁγίᾳ Εἰκόνι, θαυματουργῷ καί θείᾳ, καί δίδου τήν σήν χάριν, Μυρτιδιώτισσα.

Megalynarion (Amateur translation)
Sprinkle your people with divine myrrh, who in the myrtles shown forth wondrously, holy Icon, wondrous and divine, and grant your grace, Myrtidiotissa.

[[picture:"0924theotokos-myrtletree.jpg" ID:22132]]

Another icon of Panagia Myrtidiotissa

Panagia Myrtidiotissa http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com.au/2009/09/miraculous-icon-of-panagia.html

Photos > Island Churches & Icons

submitted by Kytherian Religious Consciousness on 02.03.2014

Panagia Myrtidiotissa with myrtle prominent

Commemorated on September 24

[[picture:"Panagia Myrtidiotissa Sept 24.jpg" ID:22128]]

"The Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos "Of the Myrtle Tree" (Myrtidiotissa) is in the monastery church of Myrtides on the Greek island of Kythera. It derives its name from the fact that it was found in a myrtle bush in the fourteenth century.

At that time, a shepherd was tending his sheep in a deserted valley which was filled with myrtle bushes. On September 24, forty days after the Dormition, the Mother of God appeared to him and told him to seek her icon which had been brought to that place many years before.

The shepherd fell to the ground in amazement, praying to the Theotokos. As soon as he got up and turned around, he saw the icon in the branches of a myrtle bush. Weeping for joy, he brought the icon home and told his friends and relatives about how he had found it.

When he awoke the next morning, the shepherd found the icon missing, and thought that perhaps someone had stolen it during the night. With a heavy heart, he led his sheep back to the spot where he had found the icon. To his amazement, he saw the icon once again in the branches of the myrtle bush. Glorifying God, the man took the icon home with him once more. The next morning, it had disappeared just as it had before. When this happened a third time, the shepherd realized that the Mother of God wanted her icon to remain where it had first appeared.

[[picture:"Picture of the original icon of Panagia Myrtidiotissa, Kythera.jpg" ID:22129]]

Picture of the original icon of Panagia Myrtidiotissa, Kythera

A small church was built to house the icon, and was called "Of the Myrtle Tree," after the icon. The building was replaced and enlarged over the years, and many miracles took place there.

At the end of the sixteenth century Theodore Koumprianos, a descendant of the shepherd who found the icon, lived in the village of Kousoumari. He was a paralytic, and had an unshakeable faith that the Mother of God would heal him. Each year on September 24 he sent a family member to the church to light candles for him. One year he asked to be carried there by his family so that he might venerate the icon himself. During the Vigil, a great noise was heard coming from the direction of the sea. People fled the church, thinking that pirates were attacking. The paralytic remained in the church by himself, entreating the Mother of God for protection. Suddenly, he heard a voice from the icon telling him to get up and flee. He stood up, and then walked out of the church. Soon he was able to run and catch up with his relatives, who rejoiced upon seeing this miracle. As it turned out, there was no pirate attack, and the noise was regarded as a sign of God's providence so that the paralytic could remain alone in church with the icon. Since that time the Koumprianos family has celebrated the icon's Feast Day with a special reverence, since Theodore had been healed on that day.

Some of the other miracles associated with the Most Holy Theotokos and her icon "Of the Myrtle Tree" include protection of the island from the plague, ending the barrenness of a Jewish woman from Alexandria, saving people from death, and many other great wonders.

Pilgrims come to venerate the icon on the Feast of the Dormition (August 15), and also on the day of its discovery (September 24)."

[[picture:"Panagia_Myrtidiotissa 2.jpg" ID:22130]]

Another icon of Panagia Myrtidiotissa

A miracle of Panagia Myrtidiotissa (amateur translation)

A ship was traveling at sea, when there began a terrible storm. Frigid fear seized the captain and crew. It was not like today. Then the boats were wooden. And they had sails! And the old boat started leaking. The pump worked continuously, but it didn’t do any good, and the boat started to sink. If the ship were lost what good were lifeboats and life jackets? All felt that every hope was lost. And then their minds turned to the Virgin Mary, who is the "hope of the hopeless”.

-Come, Panagia Myrtidiotissa, patroness and protector of our island. Save us. Pity our children and our elderly parents, who are waiting for us! ...

Just before the boat sank, suddenly appeared among them an all-illumined woman who said:

"I’ve come! Don’t be afraid! Your ship will be saved!

And she plunged into the sea with a sponge in hand and closed the hole that had opened on board! In a few minutes, the boat went quiet on his way. They went at the first port they reached for repair. And what a miracle they saw! They saw the hole, which was opened on board, blocked by the sponge that was held in the hands of the Panagia when she appeared in the boat! Everyone saw this miracle. Full of emotion, the captain bought clean wax and made a candle like the mast of the boat. He also brought the sponge that the Panagia had in a box. He also made a small silver boat. And he returned to his homeland, the island of Chios. All went to the monastery of Panagia Myrtidiotissa. And when he went to venerate the miraculous icon, filled with emotion he cried out:

- That's her! We saw her! My Panagia! My Panagia! ...

All of them knelt in front of the Panagia. They did their cross in reverence. They thanked her from the depth of their souls, and offered their small gifts, which are kept up till the present day.

[[picture:"Panagia_Myrtidiotissa_3.jpg" ID:22131]]

Ἀπολυτίκιον Ἦχος δ' Ταχὺ προκατάλαβε
Λαοί νῦν κροτήσωμεν,δεῦτε τάς χεῖρας πιστῶς καί ἄσωμεν ἄσμασι τῇ Θεομήτορι ἐν πόθῳ κραυγάζοντες˙ Χαῖρε ἡ προστασία πάντων τῶν δεομένων Χαῖρε ἡ σωτηρία τῶν τιμώντων σε πόθῳ, Χαῖρε ἡ τῷ παραλύτῳ τήν ἴασιν βραβεύσασα.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone (Amateur translation)
O people now let us clap our hands in faith and sing songs to the Mother of God crying out with fervor, Hail the protection of all those in danger, Hail the salvation of those who honor you with longing, Hail you who granted healing to the paralytic.

Ρᾶνον θείοις μύροις τόν σόν λαόν, ἡ ἐν μυρτιδίοις ἀνατείλασα θαυμαστῶς, ἁγίᾳ Εἰκόνι, θαυματουργῷ καί θείᾳ, καί δίδου τήν σήν χάριν, Μυρτιδιώτισσα.

Megalynarion (Amateur translation)
Sprinkle your people with divine myrrh, who in the myrtles shown forth wondrously, holy Icon, wondrous and divine, and grant your grace, Myrtidiotissa.

Another icon of Panagia Myrtidiotissa

Panagia Myrtidiotissa http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com.au/2009/09/miraculous-icon-of-panagia.html

Photos > Island Churches & Icons

submitted by Kytherian Religious Consciousness on 02.03.2014

Yet another icon of Panagia Myrtidiotissa

Commemorated on September 24

[[picture:"Panagia Myrtidiotissa Sept 24.jpg" ID:22128]]

"The Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos "Of the Myrtle Tree" (Myrtidiotissa) is in the monastery church of Myrtides on the Greek island of Kythera. It derives its name from the fact that it was found in a myrtle bush in the fourteenth century.

At that time, a shepherd was tending his sheep in a deserted valley which was filled with myrtle bushes. On September 24, forty days after the Dormition, the Mother of God appeared to him and told him to seek her icon which had been brought to that place many years before.

The shepherd fell to the ground in amazement, praying to the Theotokos. As soon as he got up and turned around, he saw the icon in the branches of a myrtle bush. Weeping for joy, he brought the icon home and told his friends and relatives about how he had found it.

When he awoke the next morning, the shepherd found the icon missing, and thought that perhaps someone had stolen it during the night. With a heavy heart, he led his sheep back to the spot where he had found the icon. To his amazement, he saw the icon once again in the branches of the myrtle bush. Glorifying God, the man took the icon home with him once more. The next morning, it had disappeared just as it had before. When this happened a third time, the shepherd realized that the Mother of God wanted her icon to remain where it had first appeared.

[[picture:"Picture of the original icon of Panagia Myrtidiotissa, Kythera.jpg" ID:22129]]

Picture of the original icon of Panagia Myrtidiotissa, Kythera

A small church was built to house the icon, and was called "Of the Myrtle Tree," after the icon. The building was replaced and enlarged over the years, and many miracles took place there.

At the end of the sixteenth century Theodore Koumprianos, a descendant of the shepherd who found the icon, lived in the village of Kousoumari. He was a paralytic, and had an unshakeable faith that the Mother of God would heal him. Each year on September 24 he sent a family member to the church to light candles for him. One year he asked to be carried there by his family so that he might venerate the icon himself. During the Vigil, a great noise was heard coming from the direction of the sea. People fled the church, thinking that pirates were attacking. The paralytic remained in the church by himself, entreating the Mother of God for protection. Suddenly, he heard a voice from the icon telling him to get up and flee. He stood up, and then walked out of the church. Soon he was able to run and catch up with his relatives, who rejoiced upon seeing this miracle. As it turned out, there was no pirate attack, and the noise was regarded as a sign of God's providence so that the paralytic could remain alone in church with the icon. Since that time the Koumprianos family has celebrated the icon's Feast Day with a special reverence, since Theodore had been healed on that day.

Some of the other miracles associated with the Most Holy Theotokos and her icon "Of the Myrtle Tree" include protection of the island from the plague, ending the barrenness of a Jewish woman from Alexandria, saving people from death, and many other great wonders.

Pilgrims come to venerate the icon on the Feast of the Dormition (August 15), and also on the day of its discovery (September 24)."

[[picture:"Panagia_Myrtidiotissa 2.jpg" ID:22130]]

Another icon of Panagia Myrtidiotissa

A miracle of Panagia Myrtidiotissa (amateur translation)

A ship was traveling at sea, when there began a terrible storm. Frigid fear seized the captain and crew. It was not like today. Then the boats were wooden. And they had sails! And the old boat started leaking. The pump worked continuously, but it didn’t do any good, and the boat started to sink. If the ship were lost what good were lifeboats and life jackets? All felt that every hope was lost. And then their minds turned to the Virgin Mary, who is the "hope of the hopeless”.

-Come, Panagia Myrtidiotissa, patroness and protector of our island. Save us. Pity our children and our elderly parents, who are waiting for us! ...

Just before the boat sank, suddenly appeared among them an all-illumined woman who said:

"I’ve come! Don’t be afraid! Your ship will be saved!

And she plunged into the sea with a sponge in hand and closed the hole that had opened on board! In a few minutes, the boat went quiet on his way. They went at the first port they reached for repair. And what a miracle they saw! They saw the hole, which was opened on board, blocked by the sponge that was held in the hands of the Panagia when she appeared in the boat! Everyone saw this miracle. Full of emotion, the captain bought clean wax and made a candle like the mast of the boat. He also brought the sponge that the Panagia had in a box. He also made a small silver boat. And he returned to his homeland, the island of Chios. All went to the monastery of Panagia Myrtidiotissa. And when he went to venerate the miraculous icon, filled with emotion he cried out:

- That's her! We saw her! My Panagia! My Panagia! ...

All of them knelt in front of the Panagia. They did their cross in reverence. They thanked her from the depth of their souls, and offered their small gifts, which are kept up till the present day.

Ἀπολυτίκιον Ἦχος δ' Ταχὺ προκατάλαβε
Λαοί νῦν κροτήσωμεν,δεῦτε τάς χεῖρας πιστῶς καί ἄσωμεν ἄσμασι τῇ Θεομήτορι ἐν πόθῳ κραυγάζοντες˙ Χαῖρε ἡ προστασία πάντων τῶν δεομένων Χαῖρε ἡ σωτηρία τῶν τιμώντων σε πόθῳ, Χαῖρε ἡ τῷ παραλύτῳ τήν ἴασιν βραβεύσασα.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone (Amateur translation)
O people now let us clap our hands in faith and sing songs to the Mother of God crying out with fervor, Hail the protection of all those in danger, Hail the salvation of those who honor you with longing, Hail you who granted healing to the paralytic.

Ρᾶνον θείοις μύροις τόν σόν λαόν, ἡ ἐν μυρτιδίοις ἀνατείλασα θαυμαστῶς, ἁγίᾳ Εἰκόνι, θαυματουργῷ καί θείᾳ, καί δίδου τήν σήν χάριν, Μυρτιδιώτισσα.

Megalynarion (Amateur translation)
Sprinkle your people with divine myrrh, who in the myrtles shown forth wondrously, holy Icon, wondrous and divine, and grant your grace, Myrtidiotissa.

Another icon of Panagia Myrtidiotissa

Panagia Myrtidiotissa http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com.au/2009/09/miraculous-icon-of-panagia.html

Photos > Island Churches & Icons

submitted by Kytherian Religious Consciousness on 02.03.2014

Another icon of Panagia Myrtidiotissa

Commemorated on September 24

[[picture:"Panagia Myrtidiotissa Sept 24.jpg" ID:22128]]

"The Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos "Of the Myrtle Tree" (Myrtidiotissa) is in the monastery church of Myrtides on the Greek island of Kythera. It derives its name from the fact that it was found in a myrtle bush in the fourteenth century.

At that time, a shepherd was tending his sheep in a deserted valley which was filled with myrtle bushes. On September 24, forty days after the Dormition, the Mother of God appeared to him and told him to seek her icon which had been brought to that place many years before.

The shepherd fell to the ground in amazement, praying to the Theotokos. As soon as he got up and turned around, he saw the icon in the branches of a myrtle bush. Weeping for joy, he brought the icon home and told his friends and relatives about how he had found it.

When he awoke the next morning, the shepherd found the icon missing, and thought that perhaps someone had stolen it during the night. With a heavy heart, he led his sheep back to the spot where he had found the icon. To his amazement, he saw the icon once again in the branches of the myrtle bush. Glorifying God, the man took the icon home with him once more. The next morning, it had disappeared just as it had before. When this happened a third time, the shepherd realized that the Mother of God wanted her icon to remain where it had first appeared.

[[picture:"Picture of the original icon of Panagia Myrtidiotissa, Kythera.jpg" ID:22129]]

Picture of the original icon of Panagia Myrtidiotissa, Kythera

A small church was built to house the icon, and was called "Of the Myrtle Tree," after the icon. The building was replaced and enlarged over the years, and many miracles took place there.

At the end of the sixteenth century Theodore Koumprianos, a descendant of the shepherd who found the icon, lived in the village of Kousoumari. He was a paralytic, and had an unshakeable faith that the Mother of God would heal him. Each year on September 24 he sent a family member to the church to light candles for him. One year he asked to be carried there by his family so that he might venerate the icon himself. During the Vigil, a great noise was heard coming from the direction of the sea. People fled the church, thinking that pirates were attacking. The paralytic remained in the church by himself, entreating the Mother of God for protection. Suddenly, he heard a voice from the icon telling him to get up and flee. He stood up, and then walked out of the church. Soon he was able to run and catch up with his relatives, who rejoiced upon seeing this miracle. As it turned out, there was no pirate attack, and the noise was regarded as a sign of God's providence so that the paralytic could remain alone in church with the icon. Since that time the Koumprianos family has celebrated the icon's Feast Day with a special reverence, since Theodore had been healed on that day.

Some of the other miracles associated with the Most Holy Theotokos and her icon "Of the Myrtle Tree" include protection of the island from the plague, ending the barrenness of a Jewish woman from Alexandria, saving people from death, and many other great wonders.

Pilgrims come to venerate the icon on the Feast of the Dormition (August 15), and also on the day of its discovery (September 24)."


Another icon of Panagia Myrtidiotissa

A miracle of Panagia Myrtidiotissa (amateur translation)

A ship was traveling at sea, when there began a terrible storm. Frigid fear seized the captain and crew. It was not like today. Then the boats were wooden. And they had sails! And the old boat started leaking. The pump worked continuously, but it didn’t do any good, and the boat started to sink. If the ship were lost what good were lifeboats and life jackets? All felt that every hope was lost. And then their minds turned to the Virgin Mary, who is the "hope of the hopeless”.

-Come, Panagia Myrtidiotissa, patroness and protector of our island. Save us. Pity our children and our elderly parents, who are waiting for us! ...

Just before the boat sank, suddenly appeared among them an all-illumined woman who said:

"I’ve come! Don’t be afraid! Your ship will be saved!

And she plunged into the sea with a sponge in hand and closed the hole that had opened on board! In a few minutes, the boat went quiet on his way. They went at the first port they reached for repair. And what a miracle they saw! They saw the hole, which was opened on board, blocked by the sponge that was held in the hands of the Panagia when she appeared in the boat! Everyone saw this miracle. Full of emotion, the captain bought clean wax and made a candle like the mast of the boat. He also brought the sponge that the Panagia had in a box. He also made a small silver boat. And he returned to his homeland, the island of Chios. All went to the monastery of Panagia Myrtidiotissa. And when he went to venerate the miraculous icon, filled with emotion he cried out:

- That's her! We saw her! My Panagia! My Panagia! ...

All of them knelt in front of the Panagia. They did their cross in reverence. They thanked her from the depth of their souls, and offered their small gifts, which are kept up till the present day.

Ἀπολυτίκιον Ἦχος δ' Ταχὺ προκατάλαβε
Λαοί νῦν κροτήσωμεν,δεῦτε τάς χεῖρας πιστῶς καί ἄσωμεν ἄσμασι τῇ Θεομήτορι ἐν πόθῳ κραυγάζοντες˙ Χαῖρε ἡ προστασία πάντων τῶν δεομένων Χαῖρε ἡ σωτηρία τῶν τιμώντων σε πόθῳ, Χαῖρε ἡ τῷ παραλύτῳ τήν ἴασιν βραβεύσασα.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone (Amateur translation)
O people now let us clap our hands in faith and sing songs to the Mother of God crying out with fervor, Hail the protection of all those in danger, Hail the salvation of those who honor you with longing, Hail you who granted healing to the paralytic.

Ρᾶνον θείοις μύροις τόν σόν λαόν, ἡ ἐν μυρτιδίοις ἀνατείλασα θαυμαστῶς, ἁγίᾳ Εἰκόνι, θαυματουργῷ καί θείᾳ, καί δίδου τήν σήν χάριν, Μυρτιδιώτισσα.

Megalynarion (Amateur translation)
Sprinkle your people with divine myrrh, who in the myrtles shown forth wondrously, holy Icon, wondrous and divine, and grant your grace, Myrtidiotissa.

Another icon of Panagia Myrtidiotissa

Panagia Myrtidiotissa http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com.au/2009/09/miraculous-icon-of-panagia.html

Photos > Island Churches & Icons

submitted by Kytherian Religious Consciousness on 02.03.2014

Picture of the original icon of Panagia Myrtidiotissa, Kythera

Commemorated on September 24

[[picture:"Panagia Myrtidiotissa Sept 24.jpg" ID:22128]]

"The Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos "Of the Myrtle Tree" (Myrtidiotissa) is in the monastery church of Myrtides on the Greek island of Kythera. It derives its name from the fact that it was found in a myrtle bush in the fourteenth century.

At that time, a shepherd was tending his sheep in a deserted valley which was filled with myrtle bushes. On September 24, forty days after the Dormition, the Mother of God appeared to him and told him to seek her icon which had been brought to that place many years before.

The shepherd fell to the ground in amazement, praying to the Theotokos. As soon as he got up and turned around, he saw the icon in the branches of a myrtle bush. Weeping for joy, he brought the icon home and told his friends and relatives about how he had found it.

When he awoke the next morning, the shepherd found the icon missing, and thought that perhaps someone had stolen it during the night. With a heavy heart, he led his sheep back to the spot where he had found the icon. To his amazement, he saw the icon once again in the branches of the myrtle bush. Glorifying God, the man took the icon home with him once more. The next morning, it had disappeared just as it had before. When this happened a third time, the shepherd realized that the Mother of God wanted her icon to remain where it had first appeared.


Picture of the original icon of Panagia Myrtidiotissa, Kythera

A small church was built to house the icon, and was called "Of the Myrtle Tree," after the icon. The building was replaced and enlarged over the years, and many miracles took place there.

At the end of the sixteenth century Theodore Koumprianos, a descendant of the shepherd who found the icon, lived in the village of Kousoumari. He was a paralytic, and had an unshakeable faith that the Mother of God would heal him. Each year on September 24 he sent a family member to the church to light candles for him. One year he asked to be carried there by his family so that he might venerate the icon himself. During the Vigil, a great noise was heard coming from the direction of the sea. People fled the church, thinking that pirates were attacking. The paralytic remained in the church by himself, entreating the Mother of God for protection. Suddenly, he heard a voice from the icon telling him to get up and flee. He stood up, and then walked out of the church. Soon he was able to run and catch up with his relatives, who rejoiced upon seeing this miracle. As it turned out, there was no pirate attack, and the noise was regarded as a sign of God's providence so that the paralytic could remain alone in church with the icon. Since that time the Koumprianos family has celebrated the icon's Feast Day with a special reverence, since Theodore had been healed on that day.

Some of the other miracles associated with the Most Holy Theotokos and her icon "Of the Myrtle Tree" include protection of the island from the plague, ending the barrenness of a Jewish woman from Alexandria, saving people from death, and many other great wonders.

Pilgrims come to venerate the icon on the Feast of the Dormition (August 15), and also on the day of its discovery (September 24)."


Another icon of Panagia Myrtidiotissa

A miracle of Panagia Myrtidiotissa (amateur translation)

A ship was traveling at sea, when there began a terrible storm. Frigid fear seized the captain and crew. It was not like today. Then the boats were wooden. And they had sails! And the old boat started leaking. The pump worked continuously, but it didn’t do any good, and the boat started to sink. If the ship were lost what good were lifeboats and life jackets? All felt that every hope was lost. And then their minds turned to the Virgin Mary, who is the "hope of the hopeless”.

-Come, Panagia Myrtidiotissa, patroness and protector of our island. Save us. Pity our children and our elderly parents, who are waiting for us! ...

Just before the boat sank, suddenly appeared among them an all-illumined woman who said:

"I’ve come! Don’t be afraid! Your ship will be saved!

And she plunged into the sea with a sponge in hand and closed the hole that had opened on board! In a few minutes, the boat went quiet on his way. They went at the first port they reached for repair. And what a miracle they saw! They saw the hole, which was opened on board, blocked by the sponge that was held in the hands of the Panagia when she appeared in the boat! Everyone saw this miracle. Full of emotion, the captain bought clean wax and made a candle like the mast of the boat. He also brought the sponge that the Panagia had in a box. He also made a small silver boat. And he returned to his homeland, the island of Chios. All went to the monastery of Panagia Myrtidiotissa. And when he went to venerate the miraculous icon, filled with emotion he cried out:

- That's her! We saw her! My Panagia! My Panagia! ...

All of them knelt in front of the Panagia. They did their cross in reverence. They thanked her from the depth of their souls, and offered their small gifts, which are kept up till the present day.

Ἀπολυτίκιον Ἦχος δ' Ταχὺ προκατάλαβε
Λαοί νῦν κροτήσωμεν,δεῦτε τάς χεῖρας πιστῶς καί ἄσωμεν ἄσμασι τῇ Θεομήτορι ἐν πόθῳ κραυγάζοντες˙ Χαῖρε ἡ προστασία πάντων τῶν δεομένων Χαῖρε ἡ σωτηρία τῶν τιμώντων σε πόθῳ, Χαῖρε ἡ τῷ παραλύτῳ τήν ἴασιν βραβεύσασα.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone (Amateur translation)
O people now let us clap our hands in faith and sing songs to the Mother of God crying out with fervor, Hail the protection of all those in danger, Hail the salvation of those who honor you with longing, Hail you who granted healing to the paralytic.

Ρᾶνον θείοις μύροις τόν σόν λαόν, ἡ ἐν μυρτιδίοις ἀνατείλασα θαυμαστῶς, ἁγίᾳ Εἰκόνι, θαυματουργῷ καί θείᾳ, καί δίδου τήν σήν χάριν, Μυρτιδιώτισσα.

Megalynarion (Amateur translation)
Sprinkle your people with divine myrrh, who in the myrtles shown forth wondrously, holy Icon, wondrous and divine, and grant your grace, Myrtidiotissa.

Another icon of Panagia Myrtidiotissa

Panagia Myrtidiotissa http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com.au/2009/09/miraculous-icon-of-panagia.html

Photos > Island Churches & Icons

submitted by Kytherian Religious Consciousness on 02.03.2014

The miraculous icon of Panagia Myrtidiotissa

...("of the Myrtle Tree"), Kythera

Commemorated on September 24

"The Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos "Of the Myrtle Tree" (Myrtidiotissa) is in the monastery church of Myrtides on the Greek island of Kythera. It derives its name from the fact that it was found in a myrtle bush in the fourteenth century.

At that time, a shepherd was tending his sheep in a deserted valley which was filled with myrtle bushes. On September 24, forty days after the Dormition, the Mother of God appeared to him and told him to seek her icon which had been brought to that place many years before.

The shepherd fell to the ground in amazement, praying to the Theotokos. As soon as he got up and turned around, he saw the icon in the branches of a myrtle bush. Weeping for joy, he brought the icon home and told his friends and relatives about how he had found it.

When he awoke the next morning, the shepherd found the icon missing, and thought that perhaps someone had stolen it during the night. With a heavy heart, he led his sheep back to the spot where he had found the icon. To his amazement, he saw the icon once again in the branches of the myrtle bush. Glorifying God, the man took the icon home with him once more. The next morning, it had disappeared just as it had before. When this happened a third time, the shepherd realized that the Mother of God wanted her icon to remain where it had first appeared.


Picture of the original icon of Panagia Myrtidiotissa, Kythera

A small church was built to house the icon, and was called "Of the Myrtle Tree," after the icon. The building was replaced and enlarged over the years, and many miracles took place there.

At the end of the sixteenth century Theodore Koumprianos, a descendant of the shepherd who found the icon, lived in the village of Kousoumari. He was a paralytic, and had an unshakeable faith that the Mother of God would heal him. Each year on September 24 he sent a family member to the church to light candles for him. One year he asked to be carried there by his family so that he might venerate the icon himself. During the Vigil, a great noise was heard coming from the direction of the sea. People fled the church, thinking that pirates were attacking. The paralytic remained in the church by himself, entreating the Mother of God for protection. Suddenly, he heard a voice from the icon telling him to get up and flee. He stood up, and then walked out of the church. Soon he was able to run and catch up with his relatives, who rejoiced upon seeing this miracle. As it turned out, there was no pirate attack, and the noise was regarded as a sign of God's providence so that the paralytic could remain alone in church with the icon. Since that time the Koumprianos family has celebrated the icon's Feast Day with a special reverence, since Theodore had been healed on that day.

Some of the other miracles associated with the Most Holy Theotokos and her icon "Of the Myrtle Tree" include protection of the island from the plague, ending the barrenness of a Jewish woman from Alexandria, saving people from death, and many other great wonders.

Pilgrims come to venerate the icon on the Feast of the Dormition (August 15), and also on the day of its discovery (September 24)."


Another icon of Panagia Myrtidiotissa

A miracle of Panagia Myrtidiotissa (amateur translation)

A ship was traveling at sea, when there began a terrible storm. Frigid fear seized the captain and crew. It was not like today. Then the boats were wooden. And they had sails! And the old boat started leaking. The pump worked continuously, but it didn’t do any good, and the boat started to sink. If the ship were lost what good were lifeboats and life jackets? All felt that every hope was lost. And then their minds turned to the Virgin Mary, who is the "hope of the hopeless”.

-Come, Panagia Myrtidiotissa, patroness and protector of our island. Save us. Pity our children and our elderly parents, who are waiting for us! ...

Just before the boat sank, suddenly appeared among them an all-illumined woman who said:

"I’ve come! Don’t be afraid! Your ship will be saved!

And she plunged into the sea with a sponge in hand and closed the hole that had opened on board! In a few minutes, the boat went quiet on his way. They went at the first port they reached for repair. And what a miracle they saw! They saw the hole, which was opened on board, blocked by the sponge that was held in the hands of the Panagia when she appeared in the boat! Everyone saw this miracle. Full of emotion, the captain bought clean wax and made a candle like the mast of the boat. He also brought the sponge that the Panagia had in a box. He also made a small silver boat. And he returned to his homeland, the island of Chios. All went to the monastery of Panagia Myrtidiotissa. And when he went to venerate the miraculous icon, filled with emotion he cried out:

- That's her! We saw her! My Panagia! My Panagia! ...

All of them knelt in front of the Panagia. They did their cross in reverence. They thanked her from the depth of their souls, and offered their small gifts, which are kept up till the present day.

Ἀπολυτίκιον Ἦχος δ' Ταχὺ προκατάλαβε
Λαοί νῦν κροτήσωμεν,δεῦτε τάς χεῖρας πιστῶς καί ἄσωμεν ἄσμασι τῇ Θεομήτορι ἐν πόθῳ κραυγάζοντες˙ Χαῖρε ἡ προστασία πάντων τῶν δεομένων Χαῖρε ἡ σωτηρία τῶν τιμώντων σε πόθῳ, Χαῖρε ἡ τῷ παραλύτῳ τήν ἴασιν βραβεύσασα.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone (Amateur translation)
O people now let us clap our hands in faith and sing songs to the Mother of God crying out with fervor, Hail the protection of all those in danger, Hail the salvation of those who honor you with longing, Hail you who granted healing to the paralytic.

Ρᾶνον θείοις μύροις τόν σόν λαόν, ἡ ἐν μυρτιδίοις ἀνατείλασα θαυμαστῶς, ἁγίᾳ Εἰκόνι, θαυματουργῷ καί θείᾳ, καί δίδου τήν σήν χάριν, Μυρτιδιώτισσα.

Megalynarion (Amateur translation)
Sprinkle your people with divine myrrh, who in the myrtles shown forth wondrously, holy Icon, wondrous and divine, and grant your grace, Myrtidiotissa.

Another icon of Panagia Myrtidiotissa

Panagia Myrtidiotissa http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com.au/2009/09/miraculous-icon-of-panagia.html

Photos > Island Churches & Icons

submitted by Kytherian Religious Consciousness on 13.01.2014

Valerios Kalokerinos video-taping the Archbishop of Kythera

conducting the ceremony of Epithany, on the morning of the 6th January, 2014.

At the church of the Stavromenos, Hora.

For the meaning of Paramony and Epithany, read below.

Epiphany (Koine Greek: ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia, "manifestation", "striking appearance") or Theophany (Ancient Greek (ἡ) Θεοφάνεια, Τheophaneia meaning "vision of God"), which traditionally falls on January 6, is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ. Western Christians commemorate principally (but not solely) the visit of the Magi to the Baby Jesus, and thus Jesus' physical manifestation to the Gentiles. Eastern Christians commemorate the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, seen as his manifestation to the world as the Son of God.

History

The observance had its origins in the Eastern Christian Churches and was a general celebration of the manifestation of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. It included the commemoration of his birth; the visit of the Magi to Bethlehem; all of Jesus' childhood events, up to and including his baptism in the Jordan by John the Baptist; and even the miracle at the wedding at Cana in Galilee.It seems fairly clear that the Baptism was the primary event being commemorated.

Adoration of the Magi by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, 17th century (Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio.
Christians fixed the date of the feast on January 6 quite early in their history. Ancient liturgies noted Illuminatio, Manifestatio, Declaratio (Illumination, Manifestation, Declaration); cf. Matthew 3:13–17; Luke 3:22; and John 2:1–11; where the Baptism and the Marriage at Cana were dwelt upon. Western Christians have traditionally emphasized the "Revelation to the Gentiles" mentioned in Luke, where the term Gentile means all non-Jewish peoples. The Biblical Magi, who represented the non-Jewish peoples of the world, paid homage to the infant Jesus in stark contrast to Herod the Great (King of Judea), who sought to kill him.[17] In this event, Christian writers also inferred a revelation to the Children of Israel. Saint John Chrysostom identified the significance of the meeting between the Magi and Herod's court: "The star had been hidden from them so that, on finding themselves without their guide, they would have no alternative but to consult the Jews. In this way the birth of Jesus would be made known to all."

The earliest reference to Epiphany as a Christian feast was in A.D. 361, by Ammianus Marcellinus St. Epiphanius says that January 6 is hemera genethlion toutestin epiphanion (Christ's "Birthday; that is, His Epiphany"). He also asserts that the Miracle at Cana occurred on the same calendar day.

In 385, the pilgrim Egeria (also known as Silvia) described a celebration in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, which she called "Epiphany" (epiphania) that commemorated the Nativity of Christ. Even at this early date, there was an octave associated with the feast.

In a sermon delivered on 25 December 380, St. Gregory of Nazianzus referred to the day as ta theophania ("the Theophany", an alternative name for Epiphany), saying expressly that it is a day commemorating he hagia tou Christou gennesis ("the holy nativity of Christ") and told his listeners that they would soon be celebrating the baptism of Christ. Then, on January 6 and 7, he preached two more sermons, wherein he declared that the celebration of the birth of Christ and the visitation of the Magi had already taken place, and that they would now commemorate his Baptism. At this time, celebration of the two events was beginning to be observed on separate occasions, at least in Cappadocia.
Saint John Cassian says that even in his time (beginning of the 5th century), the Egyptian monasteries celebrated the Nativity and Baptism together on January 6.The Armenian Apostolic Church continues to celebrate January 6 as the only commemoration of the Nativity.

Etymology and original word usage

The Koine Greek ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia derives from the verb "to appear" and means "manifestation," "appearance." In classical Greek it was used of the appearance of dawn, of an enemy in war, but especially of a manifestation of a deity to a worshipper (a theophany). In the Septuagint the word is used for a manifestation of the God of Israel (2 Maccabees 15:27). In the New Testament the word is used in 2 Timothy 1:10 to refer either to the birth of Christ or to his appearance after his resurrection, and five times to refer to the Second Coming.

Liturgical practice in Eastern Orthodox churches

Forefeast: The liturgical Forefeast of Theophany begins on January 1, and concludes with the Paramony on January 5.

Paramony: The Eve of the Feast is called Paramony (Greek: παραμονή, Slavonic: navechérie). Paramony is observed as a strict fast day, on which those faithful who are physically able, refrain from food until the first star is observed in the evening, when a meal with wine and oil may be taken. On this day the Royal Hours are celebrated, thus tying together the feasts of Nativity and Good Friday. The Royal Hours are followed by the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil which combines Vespers with the Divine Liturgy. During the Vespers, fifteen Old Testament lections which foreshadow the Baptism of Christ are read, and special antiphons are chanted. If the Feast of the Theophany falls on a Sunday or Monday, the Royal Hours are chanted on the previous Friday, and on the Paramony the Vesperal Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is celebrated and the fasting is lessened to some degree.

Theophany Crucession. The priests throw a wooden cross in the Yantra river. Believers will then jump into the icy waters to "save" the cross.

Blessing of Waters: The Orthodox Churches perform the Great Blessing of Waters on Theophany.[42] The blessing is normally done twice: once on the Eve of the Feast—usually at a Baptismal font inside the church—and then again on the day of the feast, outdoors at a body of water. Following the Divine Liturgy, the clergy and people go in a Crucession (procession with the cross) to the nearest body of water, be it a beach, harbor, quay, river, lake, swimming pool, water depot, etc. (ideally, it should be a body of "living water"). At the end of the ceremony the priest will bless the waters. In the Greek practice, he does this by casting a cross into the water. If swimming is feasible on the spot, any number of volunteers may try to recover the cross. The person who gets the cross first swims back and returns it to the priest, who then delivers a special blessing to the swimmer and their household. Certain such ceremonies have achieved particular prominence, such as the one held annually at Tarpon Springs, Florida. In Russia, where the winters are severe, a hole will be cut into the ice so that the waters may be blessed. In such conditions, the cross is not cast into the water, but is held securely by the priest and dipped three times into the water.

The water that is blessed on this day is known as "Theophany Water" and is taken home by the faithful, and used with prayer as a blessing. People will not only bless themselves and their homes by sprinkling with Theophany Water, but will also drink it. The Orthodox Church teaches that Theophany Water differs from regular holy water in that with Theophany Water, the very nature of the water is changed and becomes incorrupt,[43] a miracle attested to as early as St. John Chrysostom.[44]

Theophany is a traditional day for performing Baptisms, and this is reflected in the Divine Liturgy by singing the baptismal hymn, "As many as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. Alleluia," in place of the Trisagion.

House Blessings: On Theophany the priest will begin making the round of the parishioner's homes to bless them. He will perform a short prayer service in each home, and then go through the entire house, gardens and outside-buildings, blessing them with the newly blessed Theophany Water, while all sing the Troparion and Kontakion of the feast. This is normally done on Theophany, or at least during the Afterfeast, but if the parishioners are numerous, and especially if many live far away from the church, it may take some time to bless each house. Traditionally, these blessings should all be finished before the beginning of Great Lent).

Afterfeast: The Feast of Theophany is followed by an eight-day Afterfeast on which the normal fasting laws are suspended. The Saturday and Sunday after Theophany have special readings assigned to them, which relate to the Temptation of Christ and to penance and perseverance in the Christian struggle. There is thus a liturgical continuum between the Feast of Theophany and the beginning of Great Lent.

The explanation of Epithany is from Wikipedia. The Wikipedia entry is much more extensive.

Photos > Island Churches & Icons

submitted by Kytherian Religious Consciousness on 13.01.2014

A packed house in the delightful church of the Stravromenos, Hora

During the morning service of Epithany, conducted by the Archbishop of kythera, on the 6th January, 2014.

For the meaning of Paramony and Epithany, read below.

Epiphany (Koine Greek: ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia, "manifestation", "striking appearance") or Theophany (Ancient Greek (ἡ) Θεοφάνεια, Τheophaneia meaning "vision of God"), which traditionally falls on January 6, is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ. Western Christians commemorate principally (but not solely) the visit of the Magi to the Baby Jesus, and thus Jesus' physical manifestation to the Gentiles. Eastern Christians commemorate the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, seen as his manifestation to the world as the Son of God.

History

The observance had its origins in the Eastern Christian Churches and was a general celebration of the manifestation of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. It included the commemoration of his birth; the visit of the Magi to Bethlehem; all of Jesus' childhood events, up to and including his baptism in the Jordan by John the Baptist; and even the miracle at the wedding at Cana in Galilee.It seems fairly clear that the Baptism was the primary event being commemorated.

Adoration of the Magi by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, 17th century (Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio.
Christians fixed the date of the feast on January 6 quite early in their history. Ancient liturgies noted Illuminatio, Manifestatio, Declaratio (Illumination, Manifestation, Declaration); cf. Matthew 3:13–17; Luke 3:22; and John 2:1–11; where the Baptism and the Marriage at Cana were dwelt upon. Western Christians have traditionally emphasized the "Revelation to the Gentiles" mentioned in Luke, where the term Gentile means all non-Jewish peoples. The Biblical Magi, who represented the non-Jewish peoples of the world, paid homage to the infant Jesus in stark contrast to Herod the Great (King of Judea), who sought to kill him.[17] In this event, Christian writers also inferred a revelation to the Children of Israel. Saint John Chrysostom identified the significance of the meeting between the Magi and Herod's court: "The star had been hidden from them so that, on finding themselves without their guide, they would have no alternative but to consult the Jews. In this way the birth of Jesus would be made known to all."

The earliest reference to Epiphany as a Christian feast was in A.D. 361, by Ammianus Marcellinus St. Epiphanius says that January 6 is hemera genethlion toutestin epiphanion (Christ's "Birthday; that is, His Epiphany"). He also asserts that the Miracle at Cana occurred on the same calendar day.

In 385, the pilgrim Egeria (also known as Silvia) described a celebration in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, which she called "Epiphany" (epiphania) that commemorated the Nativity of Christ. Even at this early date, there was an octave associated with the feast.

In a sermon delivered on 25 December 380, St. Gregory of Nazianzus referred to the day as ta theophania ("the Theophany", an alternative name for Epiphany), saying expressly that it is a day commemorating he hagia tou Christou gennesis ("the holy nativity of Christ") and told his listeners that they would soon be celebrating the baptism of Christ. Then, on January 6 and 7, he preached two more sermons, wherein he declared that the celebration of the birth of Christ and the visitation of the Magi had already taken place, and that they would now commemorate his Baptism. At this time, celebration of the two events was beginning to be observed on separate occasions, at least in Cappadocia.
Saint John Cassian says that even in his time (beginning of the 5th century), the Egyptian monasteries celebrated the Nativity and Baptism together on January 6.The Armenian Apostolic Church continues to celebrate January 6 as the only commemoration of the Nativity.

Etymology and original word usage

The Koine Greek ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia derives from the verb "to appear" and means "manifestation," "appearance." In classical Greek it was used of the appearance of dawn, of an enemy in war, but especially of a manifestation of a deity to a worshipper (a theophany). In the Septuagint the word is used for a manifestation of the God of Israel (2 Maccabees 15:27). In the New Testament the word is used in 2 Timothy 1:10 to refer either to the birth of Christ or to his appearance after his resurrection, and five times to refer to the Second Coming.

Liturgical practice in Eastern Orthodox churches

Forefeast: The liturgical Forefeast of Theophany begins on January 1, and concludes with the Paramony on January 5.

Paramony: The Eve of the Feast is called Paramony (Greek: παραμονή, Slavonic: navechérie). Paramony is observed as a strict fast day, on which those faithful who are physically able, refrain from food until the first star is observed in the evening, when a meal with wine and oil may be taken. On this day the Royal Hours are celebrated, thus tying together the feasts of Nativity and Good Friday. The Royal Hours are followed by the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil which combines Vespers with the Divine Liturgy. During the Vespers, fifteen Old Testament lections which foreshadow the Baptism of Christ are read, and special antiphons are chanted. If the Feast of the Theophany falls on a Sunday or Monday, the Royal Hours are chanted on the previous Friday, and on the Paramony the Vesperal Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is celebrated and the fasting is lessened to some degree.

Theophany Crucession. The priests throw a wooden cross in the Yantra river. Believers will then jump into the icy waters to "save" the cross.

Blessing of Waters: The Orthodox Churches perform the Great Blessing of Waters on Theophany.[42] The blessing is normally done twice: once on the Eve of the Feast—usually at a Baptismal font inside the church—and then again on the day of the feast, outdoors at a body of water. Following the Divine Liturgy, the clergy and people go in a Crucession (procession with the cross) to the nearest body of water, be it a beach, harbor, quay, river, lake, swimming pool, water depot, etc. (ideally, it should be a body of "living water"). At the end of the ceremony the priest will bless the waters. In the Greek practice, he does this by casting a cross into the water. If swimming is feasible on the spot, any number of volunteers may try to recover the cross. The person who gets the cross first swims back and returns it to the priest, who then delivers a special blessing to the swimmer and their household. Certain such ceremonies have achieved particular prominence, such as the one held annually at Tarpon Springs, Florida. In Russia, where the winters are severe, a hole will be cut into the ice so that the waters may be blessed. In such conditions, the cross is not cast into the water, but is held securely by the priest and dipped three times into the water.

The water that is blessed on this day is known as "Theophany Water" and is taken home by the faithful, and used with prayer as a blessing. People will not only bless themselves and their homes by sprinkling with Theophany Water, but will also drink it. The Orthodox Church teaches that Theophany Water differs from regular holy water in that with Theophany Water, the very nature of the water is changed and becomes incorrupt,[43] a miracle attested to as early as St. John Chrysostom.[44]

Theophany is a traditional day for performing Baptisms, and this is reflected in the Divine Liturgy by singing the baptismal hymn, "As many as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. Alleluia," in place of the Trisagion.

House Blessings: On Theophany the priest will begin making the round of the parishioner's homes to bless them. He will perform a short prayer service in each home, and then go through the entire house, gardens and outside-buildings, blessing them with the newly blessed Theophany Water, while all sing the Troparion and Kontakion of the feast. This is normally done on Theophany, or at least during the Afterfeast, but if the parishioners are numerous, and especially if many live far away from the church, it may take some time to bless each house. Traditionally, these blessings should all be finished before the beginning of Great Lent).

Afterfeast: The Feast of Theophany is followed by an eight-day Afterfeast on which the normal fasting laws are suspended. The Saturday and Sunday after Theophany have special readings assigned to them, which relate to the Temptation of Christ and to penance and perseverance in the Christian struggle. There is thus a liturgical continuum between the Feast of Theophany and the beginning of Great Lent.

The explanation of Epithany is from Wikipedia. The Wikipedia entry is much more extensive.

Photos > Island Churches & Icons

submitted by Kytherian Religious Consciousness on 13.01.2014

The Archbishop of Kythera conducting the Epithany Day service

at the Church of the Stavromenos, Hora, on the morning of the 6th January, 2014.

For the meaning of Paramony and Epithany, read below.

Epiphany (Koine Greek: ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia, "manifestation", "striking appearance") or Theophany (Ancient Greek (ἡ) Θεοφάνεια, Τheophaneia meaning "vision of God"), which traditionally falls on January 6, is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ. Western Christians commemorate principally (but not solely) the visit of the Magi to the Baby Jesus, and thus Jesus' physical manifestation to the Gentiles. Eastern Christians commemorate the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, seen as his manifestation to the world as the Son of God.

History

The observance had its origins in the Eastern Christian Churches and was a general celebration of the manifestation of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. It included the commemoration of his birth; the visit of the Magi to Bethlehem; all of Jesus' childhood events, up to and including his baptism in the Jordan by John the Baptist; and even the miracle at the wedding at Cana in Galilee.It seems fairly clear that the Baptism was the primary event being commemorated.

Adoration of the Magi by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, 17th century (Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio.
Christians fixed the date of the feast on January 6 quite early in their history. Ancient liturgies noted Illuminatio, Manifestatio, Declaratio (Illumination, Manifestation, Declaration); cf. Matthew 3:13–17; Luke 3:22; and John 2:1–11; where the Baptism and the Marriage at Cana were dwelt upon. Western Christians have traditionally emphasized the "Revelation to the Gentiles" mentioned in Luke, where the term Gentile means all non-Jewish peoples. The Biblical Magi, who represented the non-Jewish peoples of the world, paid homage to the infant Jesus in stark contrast to Herod the Great (King of Judea), who sought to kill him.[17] In this event, Christian writers also inferred a revelation to the Children of Israel. Saint John Chrysostom identified the significance of the meeting between the Magi and Herod's court: "The star had been hidden from them so that, on finding themselves without their guide, they would have no alternative but to consult the Jews. In this way the birth of Jesus would be made known to all."

The earliest reference to Epiphany as a Christian feast was in A.D. 361, by Ammianus Marcellinus St. Epiphanius says that January 6 is hemera genethlion toutestin epiphanion (Christ's "Birthday; that is, His Epiphany"). He also asserts that the Miracle at Cana occurred on the same calendar day.

In 385, the pilgrim Egeria (also known as Silvia) described a celebration in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, which she called "Epiphany" (epiphania) that commemorated the Nativity of Christ. Even at this early date, there was an octave associated with the feast.

In a sermon delivered on 25 December 380, St. Gregory of Nazianzus referred to the day as ta theophania ("the Theophany", an alternative name for Epiphany), saying expressly that it is a day commemorating he hagia tou Christou gennesis ("the holy nativity of Christ") and told his listeners that they would soon be celebrating the baptism of Christ. Then, on January 6 and 7, he preached two more sermons, wherein he declared that the celebration of the birth of Christ and the visitation of the Magi had already taken place, and that they would now commemorate his Baptism. At this time, celebration of the two events was beginning to be observed on separate occasions, at least in Cappadocia.
Saint John Cassian says that even in his time (beginning of the 5th century), the Egyptian monasteries celebrated the Nativity and Baptism together on January 6.The Armenian Apostolic Church continues to celebrate January 6 as the only commemoration of the Nativity.

Etymology and original word usage

The Koine Greek ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia derives from the verb "to appear" and means "manifestation," "appearance." In classical Greek it was used of the appearance of dawn, of an enemy in war, but especially of a manifestation of a deity to a worshipper (a theophany). In the Septuagint the word is used for a manifestation of the God of Israel (2 Maccabees 15:27). In the New Testament the word is used in 2 Timothy 1:10 to refer either to the birth of Christ or to his appearance after his resurrection, and five times to refer to the Second Coming.

Liturgical practice in Eastern Orthodox churches

Forefeast: The liturgical Forefeast of Theophany begins on January 1, and concludes with the Paramony on January 5.

Paramony: The Eve of the Feast is called Paramony (Greek: παραμονή, Slavonic: navechérie). Paramony is observed as a strict fast day, on which those faithful who are physically able, refrain from food until the first star is observed in the evening, when a meal with wine and oil may be taken. On this day the Royal Hours are celebrated, thus tying together the feasts of Nativity and Good Friday. The Royal Hours are followed by the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil which combines Vespers with the Divine Liturgy. During the Vespers, fifteen Old Testament lections which foreshadow the Baptism of Christ are read, and special antiphons are chanted. If the Feast of the Theophany falls on a Sunday or Monday, the Royal Hours are chanted on the previous Friday, and on the Paramony the Vesperal Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is celebrated and the fasting is lessened to some degree.

Theophany Crucession. The priests throw a wooden cross in the Yantra river. Believers will then jump into the icy waters to "save" the cross.

Blessing of Waters: The Orthodox Churches perform the Great Blessing of Waters on Theophany.[42] The blessing is normally done twice: once on the Eve of the Feast—usually at a Baptismal font inside the church—and then again on the day of the feast, outdoors at a body of water. Following the Divine Liturgy, the clergy and people go in a Crucession (procession with the cross) to the nearest body of water, be it a beach, harbor, quay, river, lake, swimming pool, water depot, etc. (ideally, it should be a body of "living water"). At the end of the ceremony the priest will bless the waters. In the Greek practice, he does this by casting a cross into the water. If swimming is feasible on the spot, any number of volunteers may try to recover the cross. The person who gets the cross first swims back and returns it to the priest, who then delivers a special blessing to the swimmer and their household. Certain such ceremonies have achieved particular prominence, such as the one held annually at Tarpon Springs, Florida. In Russia, where the winters are severe, a hole will be cut into the ice so that the waters may be blessed. In such conditions, the cross is not cast into the water, but is held securely by the priest and dipped three times into the water.

The water that is blessed on this day is known as "Theophany Water" and is taken home by the faithful, and used with prayer as a blessing. People will not only bless themselves and their homes by sprinkling with Theophany Water, but will also drink it. The Orthodox Church teaches that Theophany Water differs from regular holy water in that with Theophany Water, the very nature of the water is changed and becomes incorrupt,[43] a miracle attested to as early as St. John Chrysostom.[44]

Theophany is a traditional day for performing Baptisms, and this is reflected in the Divine Liturgy by singing the baptismal hymn, "As many as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. Alleluia," in place of the Trisagion.

House Blessings: On Theophany the priest will begin making the round of the parishioner's homes to bless them. He will perform a short prayer service in each home, and then go through the entire house, gardens and outside-buildings, blessing them with the newly blessed Theophany Water, while all sing the Troparion and Kontakion of the feast. This is normally done on Theophany, or at least during the Afterfeast, but if the parishioners are numerous, and especially if many live far away from the church, it may take some time to bless each house. Traditionally, these blessings should all be finished before the beginning of Great Lent).

Afterfeast: The Feast of Theophany is followed by an eight-day Afterfeast on which the normal fasting laws are suspended. The Saturday and Sunday after Theophany have special readings assigned to them, which relate to the Temptation of Christ and to penance and perseverance in the Christian struggle. There is thus a liturgical continuum between the Feast of Theophany and the beginning of Great Lent.

The explanation of Epithany is from Wikipedia. The Wikipedia entry is much more extensive.

Photos > Island Churches & Icons

submitted by Kytherian Religious Consciousness on 13.01.2014

Large congregation present

During the Paramony ceremony of Epithany, the evening of the 5th January, 2014.

Lining up to receive holy communion.

For the meaning of Paramony and Epithany, read below.

Epiphany (Koine Greek: ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia, "manifestation", "striking appearance") or Theophany (Ancient Greek (ἡ) Θεοφάνεια, Τheophaneia meaning "vision of God"), which traditionally falls on January 6, is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ. Western Christians commemorate principally (but not solely) the visit of the Magi to the Baby Jesus, and thus Jesus' physical manifestation to the Gentiles. Eastern Christians commemorate the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, seen as his manifestation to the world as the Son of God.

History

The observance had its origins in the Eastern Christian Churches and was a general celebration of the manifestation of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. It included the commemoration of his birth; the visit of the Magi to Bethlehem; all of Jesus' childhood events, up to and including his baptism in the Jordan by John the Baptist; and even the miracle at the wedding at Cana in Galilee.It seems fairly clear that the Baptism was the primary event being commemorated.

Adoration of the Magi by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, 17th century (Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio.
Christians fixed the date of the feast on January 6 quite early in their history. Ancient liturgies noted Illuminatio, Manifestatio, Declaratio (Illumination, Manifestation, Declaration); cf. Matthew 3:13–17; Luke 3:22; and John 2:1–11; where the Baptism and the Marriage at Cana were dwelt upon. Western Christians have traditionally emphasized the "Revelation to the Gentiles" mentioned in Luke, where the term Gentile means all non-Jewish peoples. The Biblical Magi, who represented the non-Jewish peoples of the world, paid homage to the infant Jesus in stark contrast to Herod the Great (King of Judea), who sought to kill him.[17] In this event, Christian writers also inferred a revelation to the Children of Israel. Saint John Chrysostom identified the significance of the meeting between the Magi and Herod's court: "The star had been hidden from them so that, on finding themselves without their guide, they would have no alternative but to consult the Jews. In this way the birth of Jesus would be made known to all."

The earliest reference to Epiphany as a Christian feast was in A.D. 361, by Ammianus Marcellinus St. Epiphanius says that January 6 is hemera genethlion toutestin epiphanion (Christ's "Birthday; that is, His Epiphany"). He also asserts that the Miracle at Cana occurred on the same calendar day.

In 385, the pilgrim Egeria (also known as Silvia) described a celebration in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, which she called "Epiphany" (epiphania) that commemorated the Nativity of Christ. Even at this early date, there was an octave associated with the feast.

In a sermon delivered on 25 December 380, St. Gregory of Nazianzus referred to the day as ta theophania ("the Theophany", an alternative name for Epiphany), saying expressly that it is a day commemorating he hagia tou Christou gennesis ("the holy nativity of Christ") and told his listeners that they would soon be celebrating the baptism of Christ. Then, on January 6 and 7, he preached two more sermons, wherein he declared that the celebration of the birth of Christ and the visitation of the Magi had already taken place, and that they would now commemorate his Baptism. At this time, celebration of the two events was beginning to be observed on separate occasions, at least in Cappadocia.
Saint John Cassian says that even in his time (beginning of the 5th century), the Egyptian monasteries celebrated the Nativity and Baptism together on January 6.The Armenian Apostolic Church continues to celebrate January 6 as the only commemoration of the Nativity.

Etymology and original word usage

The Koine Greek ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia derives from the verb "to appear" and means "manifestation," "appearance." In classical Greek it was used of the appearance of dawn, of an enemy in war, but especially of a manifestation of a deity to a worshipper (a theophany). In the Septuagint the word is used for a manifestation of the God of Israel (2 Maccabees 15:27). In the New Testament the word is used in 2 Timothy 1:10 to refer either to the birth of Christ or to his appearance after his resurrection, and five times to refer to the Second Coming.

Liturgical practice in Eastern Orthodox churches

Forefeast: The liturgical Forefeast of Theophany begins on January 1, and concludes with the Paramony on January 5.

Paramony: The Eve of the Feast is called Paramony (Greek: παραμονή, Slavonic: navechérie). Paramony is observed as a strict fast day, on which those faithful who are physically able, refrain from food until the first star is observed in the evening, when a meal with wine and oil may be taken. On this day the Royal Hours are celebrated, thus tying together the feasts of Nativity and Good Friday. The Royal Hours are followed by the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil which combines Vespers with the Divine Liturgy. During the Vespers, fifteen Old Testament lections which foreshadow the Baptism of Christ are read, and special antiphons are chanted. If the Feast of the Theophany falls on a Sunday or Monday, the Royal Hours are chanted on the previous Friday, and on the Paramony the Vesperal Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is celebrated and the fasting is lessened to some degree.

Theophany Crucession. The priests throw a wooden cross in the Yantra river. Believers will then jump into the icy waters to "save" the cross.

Blessing of Waters: The Orthodox Churches perform the Great Blessing of Waters on Theophany.[42] The blessing is normally done twice: once on the Eve of the Feast—usually at a Baptismal font inside the church—and then again on the day of the feast, outdoors at a body of water. Following the Divine Liturgy, the clergy and people go in a Crucession (procession with the cross) to the nearest body of water, be it a beach, harbor, quay, river, lake, swimming pool, water depot, etc. (ideally, it should be a body of "living water"). At the end of the ceremony the priest will bless the waters. In the Greek practice, he does this by casting a cross into the water. If swimming is feasible on the spot, any number of volunteers may try to recover the cross. The person who gets the cross first swims back and returns it to the priest, who then delivers a special blessing to the swimmer and their household. Certain such ceremonies have achieved particular prominence, such as the one held annually at Tarpon Springs, Florida. In Russia, where the winters are severe, a hole will be cut into the ice so that the waters may be blessed. In such conditions, the cross is not cast into the water, but is held securely by the priest and dipped three times into the water.

The water that is blessed on this day is known as "Theophany Water" and is taken home by the faithful, and used with prayer as a blessing. People will not only bless themselves and their homes by sprinkling with Theophany Water, but will also drink it. The Orthodox Church teaches that Theophany Water differs from regular holy water in that with Theophany Water, the very nature of the water is changed and becomes incorrupt,[43] a miracle attested to as early as St. John Chrysostom.[44]

Theophany is a traditional day for performing Baptisms, and this is reflected in the Divine Liturgy by singing the baptismal hymn, "As many as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. Alleluia," in place of the Trisagion.

House Blessings: On Theophany the priest will begin making the round of the parishioner's homes to bless them. He will perform a short prayer service in each home, and then go through the entire house, gardens and outside-buildings, blessing them with the newly blessed Theophany Water, while all sing the Troparion and Kontakion of the feast. This is normally done on Theophany, or at least during the Afterfeast, but if the parishioners are numerous, and especially if many live far away from the church, it may take some time to bless each house. Traditionally, these blessings should all be finished before the beginning of Great Lent).

Afterfeast: The Feast of Theophany is followed by an eight-day Afterfeast on which the normal fasting laws are suspended. The Saturday and Sunday after Theophany have special readings assigned to them, which relate to the Temptation of Christ and to penance and perseverance in the Christian struggle. There is thus a liturgical continuum between the Feast of Theophany and the beginning of Great Lent.

The explanation of Epithany is from Wikipedia. The Wikipedia entry is much more extensive.

Photos > Island Churches & Icons

submitted by Kytherian Religious Consciousness on 13.01.2014

Second altar amongst the congregation

During the Paramony ceremony of Epithany, the evening of the 5th January, 2014.

For the meaning of Paramony read below.

Epiphany (Koine Greek: ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia, "manifestation", "striking appearance") or Theophany (Ancient Greek (ἡ) Θεοφάνεια, Τheophaneia meaning "vision of God"), which traditionally falls on January 6, is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ. Western Christians commemorate principally (but not solely) the visit of the Magi to the Baby Jesus, and thus Jesus' physical manifestation to the Gentiles. Eastern Christians commemorate the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, seen as his manifestation to the world as the Son of God.

History

The observance had its origins in the Eastern Christian Churches and was a general celebration of the manifestation of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. It included the commemoration of his birth; the visit of the Magi to Bethlehem; all of Jesus' childhood events, up to and including his baptism in the Jordan by John the Baptist; and even the miracle at the wedding at Cana in Galilee.It seems fairly clear that the Baptism was the primary event being commemorated.

Adoration of the Magi by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, 17th century (Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio.
Christians fixed the date of the feast on January 6 quite early in their history. Ancient liturgies noted Illuminatio, Manifestatio, Declaratio (Illumination, Manifestation, Declaration); cf. Matthew 3:13–17; Luke 3:22; and John 2:1–11; where the Baptism and the Marriage at Cana were dwelt upon. Western Christians have traditionally emphasized the "Revelation to the Gentiles" mentioned in Luke, where the term Gentile means all non-Jewish peoples. The Biblical Magi, who represented the non-Jewish peoples of the world, paid homage to the infant Jesus in stark contrast to Herod the Great (King of Judea), who sought to kill him.[17] In this event, Christian writers also inferred a revelation to the Children of Israel. Saint John Chrysostom identified the significance of the meeting between the Magi and Herod's court: "The star had been hidden from them so that, on finding themselves without their guide, they would have no alternative but to consult the Jews. In this way the birth of Jesus would be made known to all."

The earliest reference to Epiphany as a Christian feast was in A.D. 361, by Ammianus Marcellinus St. Epiphanius says that January 6 is hemera genethlion toutestin epiphanion (Christ's "Birthday; that is, His Epiphany"). He also asserts that the Miracle at Cana occurred on the same calendar day.

In 385, the pilgrim Egeria (also known as Silvia) described a celebration in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, which she called "Epiphany" (epiphania) that commemorated the Nativity of Christ. Even at this early date, there was an octave associated with the feast.

In a sermon delivered on 25 December 380, St. Gregory of Nazianzus referred to the day as ta theophania ("the Theophany", an alternative name for Epiphany), saying expressly that it is a day commemorating he hagia tou Christou gennesis ("the holy nativity of Christ") and told his listeners that they would soon be celebrating the baptism of Christ. Then, on January 6 and 7, he preached two more sermons, wherein he declared that the celebration of the birth of Christ and the visitation of the Magi had already taken place, and that they would now commemorate his Baptism. At this time, celebration of the two events was beginning to be observed on separate occasions, at least in Cappadocia.
Saint John Cassian says that even in his time (beginning of the 5th century), the Egyptian monasteries celebrated the Nativity and Baptism together on January 6.The Armenian Apostolic Church continues to celebrate January 6 as the only commemoration of the Nativity.

Etymology and original word usage

The Koine Greek ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia derives from the verb "to appear" and means "manifestation," "appearance." In classical Greek it was used of the appearance of dawn, of an enemy in war, but especially of a manifestation of a deity to a worshipper (a theophany). In the Septuagint the word is used for a manifestation of the God of Israel (2 Maccabees 15:27). In the New Testament the word is used in 2 Timothy 1:10 to refer either to the birth of Christ or to his appearance after his resurrection, and five times to refer to the Second Coming.

Liturgical practice in Eastern Orthodox churches

Forefeast: The liturgical Forefeast of Theophany begins on January 1, and concludes with the Paramony on January 5.

Paramony: The Eve of the Feast is called Paramony (Greek: παραμονή, Slavonic: navechérie). Paramony is observed as a strict fast day, on which those faithful who are physically able, refrain from food until the first star is observed in the evening, when a meal with wine and oil may be taken. On this day the Royal Hours are celebrated, thus tying together the feasts of Nativity and Good Friday. The Royal Hours are followed by the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil which combines Vespers with the Divine Liturgy. During the Vespers, fifteen Old Testament lections which foreshadow the Baptism of Christ are read, and special antiphons are chanted. If the Feast of the Theophany falls on a Sunday or Monday, the Royal Hours are chanted on the previous Friday, and on the Paramony the Vesperal Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is celebrated and the fasting is lessened to some degree.

Theophany Crucession. The priests throw a wooden cross in the Yantra river. Believers will then jump into the icy waters to "save" the cross.

Blessing of Waters: The Orthodox Churches perform the Great Blessing of Waters on Theophany.[42] The blessing is normally done twice: once on the Eve of the Feast—usually at a Baptismal font inside the church—and then again on the day of the feast, outdoors at a body of water. Following the Divine Liturgy, the clergy and people go in a Crucession (procession with the cross) to the nearest body of water, be it a beach, harbor, quay, river, lake, swimming pool, water depot, etc. (ideally, it should be a body of "living water"). At the end of the ceremony the priest will bless the waters. In the Greek practice, he does this by casting a cross into the water. If swimming is feasible on the spot, any number of volunteers may try to recover the cross. The person who gets the cross first swims back and returns it to the priest, who then delivers a special blessing to the swimmer and their household. Certain such ceremonies have achieved particular prominence, such as the one held annually at Tarpon Springs, Florida. In Russia, where the winters are severe, a hole will be cut into the ice so that the waters may be blessed. In such conditions, the cross is not cast into the water, but is held securely by the priest and dipped three times into the water.

The water that is blessed on this day is known as "Theophany Water" and is taken home by the faithful, and used with prayer as a blessing. People will not only bless themselves and their homes by sprinkling with Theophany Water, but will also drink it. The Orthodox Church teaches that Theophany Water differs from regular holy water in that with Theophany Water, the very nature of the water is changed and becomes incorrupt,[43] a miracle attested to as early as St. John Chrysostom.[44]

Theophany is a traditional day for performing Baptisms, and this is reflected in the Divine Liturgy by singing the baptismal hymn, "As many as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. Alleluia," in place of the Trisagion.

House Blessings: On Theophany the priest will begin making the round of the parishioner's homes to bless them. He will perform a short prayer service in each home, and then go through the entire house, gardens and outside-buildings, blessing them with the newly blessed Theophany Water, while all sing the Troparion and Kontakion of the feast. This is normally done on Theophany, or at least during the Afterfeast, but if the parishioners are numerous, and especially if many live far away from the church, it may take some time to bless each house. Traditionally, these blessings should all be finished before the beginning of Great Lent).

Afterfeast: The Feast of Theophany is followed by an eight-day Afterfeast on which the normal fasting laws are suspended. The Saturday and Sunday after Theophany have special readings assigned to them, which relate to the Temptation of Christ and to penance and perseverance in the Christian struggle. There is thus a liturgical continuum between the Feast of Theophany and the beginning of Great Lent.

The explanation of Epithany is from Wikipedia. The Wikipedia entry is much more extensive.

Photos > Island Churches & Icons

submitted by Kytherian Religious Consciousness on 11.01.2014

Epithany celebrated on Kythera. Paramony ceremony at Potamos

The positioning of a second alter, surrounded by palm leaves is interesting. Father Petros explained the effect is to set the "alter" down amongst the people, so that the "divine" is much more accessible to all.

For the the meaning of "paramony" - read below.

Epiphany (Koine Greek: ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia, "manifestation", "striking appearance") or Theophany (Ancient Greek (ἡ) Θεοφάνεια, Τheophaneia meaning "vision of God"), which traditionally falls on January 6, is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ. Western Christians commemorate principally (but not solely) the visit of the Magi to the Baby Jesus, and thus Jesus' physical manifestation to the Gentiles. Eastern Christians commemorate the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, seen as his manifestation to the world as the Son of God.

History

The observance had its origins in the Eastern Christian Churches and was a general celebration of the manifestation of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. It included the commemoration of his birth; the visit of the Magi to Bethlehem; all of Jesus' childhood events, up to and including his baptism in the Jordan by John the Baptist; and even the miracle at the wedding at Cana in Galilee.It seems fairly clear that the Baptism was the primary event being commemorated.

Adoration of the Magi by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, 17th century (Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio.
Christians fixed the date of the feast on January 6 quite early in their history. Ancient liturgies noted Illuminatio, Manifestatio, Declaratio (Illumination, Manifestation, Declaration); cf. Matthew 3:13–17; Luke 3:22; and John 2:1–11; where the Baptism and the Marriage at Cana were dwelt upon. Western Christians have traditionally emphasized the "Revelation to the Gentiles" mentioned in Luke, where the term Gentile means all non-Jewish peoples. The Biblical Magi, who represented the non-Jewish peoples of the world, paid homage to the infant Jesus in stark contrast to Herod the Great (King of Judea), who sought to kill him.[17] In this event, Christian writers also inferred a revelation to the Children of Israel. Saint John Chrysostom identified the significance of the meeting between the Magi and Herod's court: "The star had been hidden from them so that, on finding themselves without their guide, they would have no alternative but to consult the Jews. In this way the birth of Jesus would be made known to all."

The earliest reference to Epiphany as a Christian feast was in A.D. 361, by Ammianus Marcellinus St. Epiphanius says that January 6 is hemera genethlion toutestin epiphanion (Christ's "Birthday; that is, His Epiphany"). He also asserts that the Miracle at Cana occurred on the same calendar day.

In 385, the pilgrim Egeria (also known as Silvia) described a celebration in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, which she called "Epiphany" (epiphania) that commemorated the Nativity of Christ. Even at this early date, there was an octave associated with the feast.

In a sermon delivered on 25 December 380, St. Gregory of Nazianzus referred to the day as ta theophania ("the Theophany", an alternative name for Epiphany), saying expressly that it is a day commemorating he hagia tou Christou gennesis ("the holy nativity of Christ") and told his listeners that they would soon be celebrating the baptism of Christ. Then, on January 6 and 7, he preached two more sermons, wherein he declared that the celebration of the birth of Christ and the visitation of the Magi had already taken place, and that they would now commemorate his Baptism. At this time, celebration of the two events was beginning to be observed on separate occasions, at least in Cappadocia.
Saint John Cassian says that even in his time (beginning of the 5th century), the Egyptian monasteries celebrated the Nativity and Baptism together on January 6.The Armenian Apostolic Church continues to celebrate January 6 as the only commemoration of the Nativity.

Etymology and original word usage

The Koine Greek ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia derives from the verb "to appear" and means "manifestation," "appearance." In classical Greek it was used of the appearance of dawn, of an enemy in war, but especially of a manifestation of a deity to a worshipper (a theophany). In the Septuagint the word is used for a manifestation of the God of Israel (2 Maccabees 15:27). In the New Testament the word is used in 2 Timothy 1:10 to refer either to the birth of Christ or to his appearance after his resurrection, and five times to refer to the Second Coming.

Liturgical practice in Eastern Orthodox churches

Forefeast: The liturgical Forefeast of Theophany begins on January 1, and concludes with the Paramony on January 5.

Paramony: The Eve of the Feast is called Paramony (Greek: παραμονή, Slavonic: navechérie). Paramony is observed as a strict fast day, on which those faithful who are physically able, refrain from food until the first star is observed in the evening, when a meal with wine and oil may be taken. On this day the Royal Hours are celebrated, thus tying together the feasts of Nativity and Good Friday. The Royal Hours are followed by the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil which combines Vespers with the Divine Liturgy. During the Vespers, fifteen Old Testament lections which foreshadow the Baptism of Christ are read, and special antiphons are chanted. If the Feast of the Theophany falls on a Sunday or Monday, the Royal Hours are chanted on the previous Friday, and on the Paramony the Vesperal Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is celebrated and the fasting is lessened to some degree.

Theophany Crucession. The priests throw a wooden cross in the Yantra river. Believers will then jump into the icy waters to "save" the cross.

Blessing of Waters: The Orthodox Churches perform the Great Blessing of Waters on Theophany.[42] The blessing is normally done twice: once on the Eve of the Feast—usually at a Baptismal font inside the church—and then again on the day of the feast, outdoors at a body of water. Following the Divine Liturgy, the clergy and people go in a Crucession (procession with the cross) to the nearest body of water, be it a beach, harbor, quay, river, lake, swimming pool, water depot, etc. (ideally, it should be a body of "living water"). At the end of the ceremony the priest will bless the waters. In the Greek practice, he does this by casting a cross into the water. If swimming is feasible on the spot, any number of volunteers may try to recover the cross. The person who gets the cross first swims back and returns it to the priest, who then delivers a special blessing to the swimmer and their household. Certain such ceremonies have achieved particular prominence, such as the one held annually at Tarpon Springs, Florida. In Russia, where the winters are severe, a hole will be cut into the ice so that the waters may be blessed. In such conditions, the cross is not cast into the water, but is held securely by the priest and dipped three times into the water.

The water that is blessed on this day is known as "Theophany Water" and is taken home by the faithful, and used with prayer as a blessing. People will not only bless themselves and their homes by sprinkling with Theophany Water, but will also drink it. The Orthodox Church teaches that Theophany Water differs from regular holy water in that with Theophany Water, the very nature of the water is changed and becomes incorrupt,[43] a miracle attested to as early as St. John Chrysostom.[44]

Theophany is a traditional day for performing Baptisms, and this is reflected in the Divine Liturgy by singing the baptismal hymn, "As many as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. Alleluia," in place of the Trisagion.

House Blessings: On Theophany the priest will begin making the round of the parishioner's homes to bless them. He will perform a short prayer service in each home, and then go through the entire house, gardens and outside-buildings, blessing them with the newly blessed Theophany Water, while all sing the Troparion and Kontakion of the feast. This is normally done on Theophany, or at least during the Afterfeast, but if the parishioners are numerous, and especially if many live far away from the church, it may take some time to bless each house. Traditionally, these blessings should all be finished before the beginning of Great Lent).

Afterfeast: The Feast of Theophany is followed by an eight-day Afterfeast on which the normal fasting laws are suspended. The Saturday and Sunday after Theophany have special readings assigned to them, which relate to the Temptation of Christ and to penance and perseverance in the Christian struggle. There is thus a liturgical continuum between the Feast of Theophany and the beginning of Great Lent.

The explanation of Epithany is from Wikipedia. The Wikipedia entry is much more extensive.

Photos > Island Churches & Icons

submitted by Stephen Trifyllis on 09.10.2013

' up close '

the bishop of kythera at a recent church service at palochora in late august

Photos > Island Churches & Icons

submitted by Stephen Trifyllis on 03.10.2013

''agia ellessa ''

inside the beautiful church of agia ellessa which celebrates on the 1st august with the magnificent hand painted icons on the walls and ceilings

Photos > Island Churches & Icons

submitted by Stephen Trifyllis on 01.10.2013

'' blessing a saint ''

the bishop of kythera and other priests perform the blessing to agia ellessa ..

Photos > Island Churches & Icons

submitted by Stephen Trifyllis on 01.10.2013

'' the blessing of a saint ''

the procession of all the bishops and priests parade towards the icon of agia ellessa to conduct the service at her place of being ordained a saint ..