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The Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord

The first Sunday after Epiphany is the day that the church celebrates the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River. The story of Jesus’ baptism is recounted in all four gospels, emphasizing the significance of the event. Jesus went to John the Baptist as he was baptizing in the Jordan River and asked to be baptized. John declared that it is he who should be baptized by Jesus, not the other way around. But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.” So John consented and baptized Jesus. When Jesus had been baptized, the heavens opened, the Holy Spirit fell on Jesus and God declared from the heavens that Jesus was His beloved son, in whom He was well pleased.

This is yet again another “epiphany," another moment where God is revealing himself through Jesus. We see the Trinity revealed through God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. They are all present in this moment for those around Jesus to see. They are all at work together.

The baptism of Jesus is also the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. It is a day in which we remember and celebrate not only Jesus’ baptism but also our own baptism. This day is a wonderful opportunity to remember our own baptisms, and to reaffirm our own baptismal calling - to share the good news with everyone around us.

Ways to Celebrate

Around the world, different water-centered traditions exist, such as in Ukraine, where Christians jump in and bathe in ice-cold water. Across southern and eastern Europe, Christians jump into freezing water to retrieve a wooden crucifix.

-Be daring and jump into a cold pool, lake, or body of water around you.

-Take a cold shower or bath.

Churches around the world celebrate the Baptism of Our Lord on this day. All of the scripture readings and songs recount the biblical event. They also renew their own baptismal vows as some are baptized. 

-Go over the baptismal vows that you made.

Baptismal Vows

Celebrant: Do you believe in God the Father?

People: I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

Celebrant: Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?

People: I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day, he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

Celebrant: Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit?

People: I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

Celebrant: Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?

People: I will, with God’s help.

Celebrant: Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?

People: I will, with God’s help.

Celebrant: Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?

People: I will, with God’s help.

Celebrant: Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?

People: I will, with God’s help.

Celebrant: Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?

People: I will, with God’s help.

Devotion for the Baptism of Our Lord

Light a candle or candles.

Begin your devotion time with the following invitation to prayer:

Leader: The Lord be with you.

People: And also with you.

Leader: Let us pray.

Opening prayer:

Father in heaven, at the baptism of Jesus in the River

Jordan You proclaimed that Jesus was your beloved Son and you anointed him with the Holy Spirit: Grant that all who are baptized into his Name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior; who with you and the same Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. 


Read Matthew 3:13-17

Close with a prayer thanking God for his goodness and asking for his

guidance and protection for you and all who are in any need or trouble.

End your devotion by saying the Lord’s Prayer together.

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