Sydney’s Melkite Catholics celebrated the baptism of Jesus—the Feast of the Theophany—including the traditional Blessing of the Water, on 5 January at St John the Beloved Melkite parish in Greenacre.
Bishop Robert Rabbat joined many of the Melkite faithful for the special feast and he presided over the highly symbolic ceremony.
The word “Theophany” means “revelation of God” and the feast recalls the baptism of Christ in the Jordan River by St John the Baptist. Jesus was revealed as the Son of God during his baptism when the Holy Spirit appeared over him in the form of a dove and voice from heaven was heard to say, “This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased.”
After Bishop Rabbat blessed the water, members of the congregation filled their own bottles with the holy water to take home.