The Tossing of the Holy Cross into the Sea in Hong Kong

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“Today earth and sea share the joy of the world, and the world has been filled with gladness.” (Prayer of Patriarch Sophronios of Jerusalem from the Great Blessing of Water on Epiphany)

On 6 January we celebrate the Baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan and the manifestation of his divinity when the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove descended on him. According to the Bible, when Jesus was baptized: “he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him; and lo, a voice from heaven saying This is my beloved Son” (Matthew 3,17). The baptism of Jesus is considered to reveal the divinity of Jesus and reveals also the three Persons of the Holy Trinity.

On Epiphany Day, a special celebration takes place at all seaside towns. After the Epiphany Divine Liturgy the Bishop leads a procession down to the sea, where a ceremonial baptism is performed. During the ceremony the Bishop throws the holy cross into the sea. The sea represents the whole creation and the holy cross represents Jesus Christ. The Church with the service of the blessing of the waters and the tossing of the holy cross into the sea conveys the sanctification to the whole creation.

In Hong Kong the Service will be conducted this year on Sunday, January 10th, 2016 at 13.00p.m. at Blake Pier in Stanley.