On this, the 6th day of the month, is the holy Theophany of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ...
"You appeared today to us on earth, O Master, and Your light was signed on us who cry aloud to You and say with understanding, O Christ our God: You came and shone forth, O Light unapproachable!"
About the beginning of our Lord's thirtieth year, John the Forerunner, who was some six months older than Our Savior according to the flesh, and had lived in the wilderness since his childhood, received a command from God and came into the parts of the Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance unto the remission of sins. Then our Savior also came from Galilee to the Jordan, and sought and received baptism though He was the Master and John was but a servant. God the Father spoke from Heaven about the Son, the Son was baptized by the St. John the Forerunner, and the Holy Spirit descended upon the Son in the form of a dove. From these events the Divinity of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and the great mystery of the Holy Trinity were demonstrated. It is also from this that the present feast is called "Theophany," that is, the divine manifestation, God's appearance among men (Mt 3:13-17; Mk 1:9-11; Lk 3:21-22).
On this venerable day the sacred mystery of Christian baptism was inaugurated; henceforth also began the saving of our souls by the preaching of the Kingdom of Heaven. The Church teaches that our salvation and cleansing from sin is possible only by the power of the grace of the Holy Spirit, therefore it is necessary to preserve worthily these gifts of the grace of holy Baptism, keeping clean this priceless garb, for "As many as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ" (Gal 3:27).
Today, the 5th of the month, the day before this great feast, we pray the Great Hours for the Feast of Holy Theophany in anticipation of this marvelous event in our salvation. The Great Hours is followed by the Vesperal Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great, so that we may receive the Body and Blood of Christ as we anxiously await the celebration. Again, in anticipation of this great feast, the 5th is a fast day, in which we prepare ourselves, physically and spiritual, for the baptism of our Lord and the divine manifestation of God's appearance among men. The 6th, being such a great feast, there is no fasting, celebrating the joy of feast!
May He who condescended to be baptized by John in the Jordan for our salvation, Christ our God, have mercy on us, and save us, Amen!