Father Justin on Baptism
A Picture of God - 3 in 1
Explain the Theophany Icon
The top of the icon shows heaven opening with a part of a circle. The circle shows God’s presence and His voice as a witness.
Holy Spirit is shown with rays of light coming out from a dove descending upon Jesus.
John the Baptist is shown baptizing Jesus in the Jordan River
Angels – Hands covered, and heads bowed showing their obedience and service to Jesus
Sing the Theophany Troparia
Point to the different parts of the icon as you sing.
At your baptism in the Jordan, O Lord, the worship of the Trinity was revealed. For the Father’s voice bore witness to you by calling you His beloved son. And the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the truth of these words. O Christ God, who have appeared to us and enlightened the world, Glory to you!
Create a Living Icon of the Theophany
The Icon will have the following parts:
John The Baptist
The Heavens - Place someone behind with arms upraised in a semi-circle (use a chair or stool to lift up if necessary)
The Holy Spirit – Place someone in front of the Heavens pointing to Jesus (use a chair or stool to lift up if necessary)
Jesus – in front to the heavens
John the Baptist next to Jesus with hand raised pointing towards Jesus
Angels on the other side of Jesus with hand covered and heads bowed
Act out a Baptism
Baptism means to be plunged or immersed into the Divine Life of the Risen Christ. It is like a new birth because in it we enter a new way of life: union with God. We must be baptized because everything in this world is touched by sin. Man has turned in on himself and pretended to be free from God. Man is broken and his allegiance is divided. Man needs to be healed, to be made whole again. Born again in baptism, we are restored to our original dignity and raised to new life in God. Why Water? Everything that lives needs water to stay alive. Water also destroys. In Baptism’s waters sin and the darkness, it brings are swept away. Flowing water is a sign of life and power. Jesus uses it as a sign of His Holy Spirit who gives us divine life. Baptism is a plunging into that living water which is the Holy Spirit. Initiation – is an experience by which people join a group. Baptism is our Christian initiation; we are joined to Christ. We are immersed in the water to share in the death and resurrection of Jesus. (Adapted from Christened Newborn in Christ – Eparchy of Newton)
“Our head is plunged in the water as though in a tomb. The old man is buried and completely drowned. When we emerge from this water the new man is risen from the dead.” St. John Chrysostom
You will need:
Water is used a sign of life and cleansing.
Oil of Gladness is another sign that we receive as a gift at Baptism. It is a gift of great joy. The priest makes the sign of the cross upon the child with the oil and says, “The servant (handmaid) of God, (Name), is anointed with the oil of gladness, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
It differs from the oil used in Chrismation, which is the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit.
White Dress – a new white garment showing purification and innocence is given to the newly baptized as a sign of new life.
Candle – A candle is given representing the light of Christ. It reminds us to let Christ’s light shine through us.
Cross – The newly baptized receives a cross as a profession of faith in the death resurrection of Jesus.
Following the baptism, process singing “All of you who have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ, Alleluia!”
Have your child write a thank you note or send a thank you video to their Godparents!