Epiphany

Epiphany is an Eastern Christian feast day to celebrate the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ. The celebration of Epiphany is held each year on January 6.

Glyfada is “Faneromeni’s” home port. During the Christmas season of 1989 I was invited by the Glyfada church of the Dikigorika district, which is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin, to participate with the “Faneromeni” in the Blessing of the Waters.

Father Constantinos Stratigopoulos, the soul of this church and a man whom I particularly respect, was born and raised in Constantinople (Istanbul). For this reason he wished to celebrate the Blessing of the Waters the way it used to be celebrated there. In Constantinople the priest and the cantors, along with the sa-cred paraphernalia, would board a caïque. The caïque would move a small dis-tance from the shore, and, at a given moment, the priest would throw the cross into the sea. At that moment young men, who had been waiting ashore, would dive into the sea and search for the cross, while the rest of the congregation watched from the land. It was this particular custom that Father Constantinos wanted to revive in Glyfada.

I considered it an honor for me and for the “Faneromeni” to be asked to partici-pate in this ceremony.

Indeed the ceremony was performed according to the Constantinopolitan tradi-tion. Father Constantinos, accompanied by the cantor and the choir boys, boarded the “Faneromeni” at Marina 4, and we sailed outside the harbor. Father Constantinos tossed the cross into the water. Young men, who until that moment were waiting on the rocks, dove after the cross and one of them triumphantly brought it to the surface.

It was a very moving day.

 

“Faneromeni” in Glyfada Marina 4 a few moments before departing the harbor for the tossing of the cross into the sea.

Glyfada, January 1990. (Archive of Nikos E. Riginos)