Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Theophany preparations

I went to work starting at 8:30, skipping lunch so I could leave at 4:30. I drove back to campus, parked, and went straight to chapel for vespers. After vespers, I got to decorate the frame of the icon of the Baptism of the Lord.

January 6 is the day that the Orthodox Church celebrates the Theophany, or the appearance of God (also called a more generic 'Epiphany' or 'appearance'). We celebrate Christ's baptism in the River Jordan by his cousin St. John the Baptist. Virgil's "three reasons" for Christ's baptism (in answer to my question): (1) to sanctify creation, (2) to confirm St. John's ministry, and (3) to reveal the Trinity.

This last is most interesting to me. I love this icon. In Matthew 3:13-17, we get all three persons of God. The Word stands in the river; the Spirit comes down in the form of a dove; the Father speaks from heaven, saying, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."

Eleni advised me on how to decorate the icon, then put Virgil to help me while she went about other chapel preparations for tomorrow's Royal Hours and St. Basil's Vesperal Liturgy and the Great Blessing of the waters. (I also love how it's Orthodox to pounce on Feasts like this. Saying, "we can't wait! how joyful that God has appeared!") After he placed the icon in the frame, Virgil cut the greenery, then the baby's breath, then the roses. I arranged the flora in the same order, trying to make it symmetric and yet not too posed. As we worked, it almost felt as though I was hovering over an open door, that I could simply fall through the icon, into the river.

I hope the Guggs are having fun in Europe, but I'm glad they'll come home soon. This week has already been long. Tomorrow I have an interview first thing in the morning (8:30), then I get to go back to blinding (removing all personal information) and copying medical records. *sigh* My husband is rubbing off on me. I'd rather be in chapel.


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