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Readings from Acts and Epistles

The Holy Gospel

Genesis : 4 :1-15

1 peter 3:12-17

St. Mathew 14 : 1 -12

Jeremiah 37: 12 - 21

Romans 8: 35-39

Isaiah 40: 3-8; 41: 8-13

A piece of prayer chanted on the service of Epiphany “You have purified the waters of Jordan by alluring Holy Spirit from the heavenly realms and trampled the head of the serpent which was hidden there.”

“ØbVPJßW ÈßKí Èßæa ÕßÖái ¦vÞÕßæÈ ¦µV×ß‚á ÕøáJß çÏÞVÆÞX dÉÕÞÙæJ Èà ÖáiàµøßAáµÏáö ¥Õßæ¿ ÎùEá µß¿K ÎÙÞ ØVMJßæa ÄÜæÏ ÎVgßAáµÏáö æºÏíÄá

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Another beautiful harbour of spiritual bliss, the Day of Spiritual Manifestation has come by the revelation of the Holy Trinity. The church celebrates this day as the Feast of Epiphany or ‘Dhanaha Perunnal’ commemorating the baptism of Jesus Christ.

<Click Here> See the Baptism of Jesus Epiphany (Greek: επιφάνεια "appearance" or "manifestation") is a Christian feast intended to celebrate the "shining forth" or revelation of God to mankind in human form, in the person of Jesus. The feast is also called “Dhanaha” (syriac) Perunnal. The date of the feast was very early fixed on January 6 by the eastern orthodox churches. Ancient Liturgies speak of Illuminatio, Manifestatio and Declaratio (Lighting, Manifestation and Declaration). It is also known as The Feast of Twelfth Day since it is coming twelve days after Christmas.

Let me go into a prayer which is chanted for the service of Epiphany and traverse through some of the scientific – geographical - biblical connections that can be interlinked. The prayer is: “You have purified the waters of Jordan by alluring Holy Spirit from the heavenly realms and trampled the head of the serpent which was hidden there.”

“ ØbVPJßW ÈßKí Èßæa ÕßÖái ¦vÞÕßæÈ ¦µV×ß‚á ÕøáJß çÏÞVÆÞX dÉÕÞÙæJ Èà ÖáiàµøßAáµÏáö ¥Õßæ¿ ÎùEá µß¿K ÎÙÞ ØVMJßæa ÄÜæÏ ÎVgßAáµÏáö æºÏíÄá.

The prayer (‘Sedro’) is chanted during the service of Epiphany and it involves deep spiritual insights. The holy fathers of the church were so deep in their spiritual knowledge in bringing out the hidden divine mysteries through their prayers. The prayer specifies two mysteries; 1. Purifying the waters of Jordan 2. Trampling on the head of the serpent which was hidden in the waters of Jordan The first part of the prayer is specified on the purification of the waters of Jordan and thereby the purification of all the waters of the earth is being done. The Prayer points to the purification of the creation. The latter part of the prayer is about the trampling on the head of the serpent hidden in the waters. The subject is incomprehensive unless deep study is done. So we may concentrate upon the latter subject. What kind of a serpent was hidden in the river Jordan where Jesus got baptized? & how did it come there? In order to understand these spiritual aspects, let us look into some geographical and scientific junctions to reach to the harbor of new spiritual insights. 1. We may have a look upon the structure and style of river Jordan 2. Also about a biblically known place called Sodom Gomorra

Jordan River 

The Jordan River is Palestine’s only large flowing body of water. It begins in the north at Mount Hermon and flows south through the Sea of Galilee, and the tropical Jordan valley, terminating at the Dead Sea.


The name, Jordan, means "flowing downward" or "the descender". It descends 689 feet from Lake Huleh to the Sea of Galilee and then another 610 feet from Galilee to the Dead Sea.

You can see in the diagram that Jordan river has some of its source connected to the sea of Galilee and it terminates at the dead sea)


The straight-line length of the river measures just over seventy miles. When all the serpentine curves are taken into account, however, its overall actual length measures two hundred miles. The width of the Jordan varies from ninety to one hundred feet, while its depth measures three to ten fee

< Click Here>

Dead Sea

See the original picture of River Jordan (where Jordan terminates)

The Dead Sea is the saltiest lake in the world. It is called “dead" because the high salinity prevents any fish or other visible aquatic organism to live in its water. The high density of the water also causes a curious phenomenon: it is impossible for a bather to sink. Its surface is the lowest point on Earth, at an elevation of 417 below sea level. The sea gets saltier by increasing its depth. What Caused the Dead Sea to Form? This lesson takes us back to the subject of plate tectonics. In this part of the world there is a rifting where two crustal plates are spreading apart. The science has agreed and proved that an explosion might have occurred on the banks of the sea or in the sea to form a huge rift. The Sea is located right along the Rift Valley where the earth's crust is being stretched thin. Where the earth's crust gets thin that part of the surface sinks downward. Look at the picture at the right to see how the rift forms, sinking downward where the crust is stretched thin. You know what? The Dead Sea is still sinking lower, even today. Scientists figure that the Dead Sea lowers by as much as 13 inches per year. On a geologic time scale that's incredibly fast.

Why the study about Dead Sea here? In order to analyze the prayer (Sedro) in question, we have to have study about Dead Sea and also its formation. We have already seen that River Jordan (where 1) Jesus was baptized and 2) Jesus trampled on the head of the serpent) has direct connection with the Dead Sea because the river meets with the sea at its finish.

River Jordan ends in Dead Sea

Formation of Dead Sea Before the formation of the Dead Sea, it was a verdant land (green and fertile) and this land was called as Sodom Gomorra, which is another significant place concerned with biblical studies. When we go through Genesis we read and believe that Lot, after separating from Abraham chose an area to settle, that was like the Garden of Eden and the fertile land around the River Nile. He did that from just a short distance from the Dead Sea. The scientists tell us that even if that area was once verdant, it was certainly not so in the past 2.5 million years. The following is the satellite pictures of the area near Dead Sea. (Sodom Gomorra)

Locations of Abraham and Lot (Note the black spot where the possible explosion has happened)

The following picture shows the remnant delta region under Dead Sea

The destructed Sodom Gomorra could have turned to be formed as the Dead Sea now. How did this happen? After Lot had left Abraham and settled in the fertile and verdant land of Sodom Gomorra, he had to run away from there for his life from the place since the people of the place wanted to have homosexuality with the two divine people (Two Angels) who made a visit to Lot’s home. Lot’s wife turned to be a salt pillar since she looked back. (Note that the Dead Sea is the saltiest lake in the world). And accordingly, God decided to devastate the place with His burning fire and a huge rift might have formed as a result of this. Please read through the verses of Genesis Chapter 19.

<Click Here> for Gen 19: 1 – 29 Science has also got evidences to substantiate some devastation by fire which happened this place before the Bronze Age. Graham Harris, a retired geologist after working on this subject for a decade affirms that the Bible places Sodom and Gomorrah in the region of the Dead Sea, between what is now Israel and Jordan in the Middle East. Hence according to the Bible it is believed that the dreadful evil dark force of Sodom Gomorra was tied up under the Dead Sea. The dark forces may take the bodily form. In the Garden of Eden, Satan took the bodily form of a serpent. The sin of Sodom and Gomorra was so severe that God decided to devastate the place and the dreadful evil forces prevailed there. The dreadful evil forces that spread in Sodom Gomorra were tied up under the Dead Sea and they might have taken the bodily form of a serpent to pave its way through the river Jordan to the location Jesus where got baptized.

Please note the prayer chanted on the sacrament of baptism also. A silent prayer by the priest before the water for baptism is as follows… “ VJÞçÕ ¾B\ ÈòçKÞ¿í dÉÞVjßAáKá. ¥tµÞøJßÈ¿áJ ¦ ÉòÖÞºá ¨ æÕUJßW ”µ ²{ß‚ßøòAáµçÏÞ Æá×í¿ ÕߺÞ‐øB\ ©{ÕÞAáK ¦ Æá×í¿ÞÄíÎÞÕí ÎÞçÎÞÆàØ ÎáBáK §ÕÈßW ÕØßAáµçÏÞ æº‡áÕÞX §¿ÏÞµøóæÄ””.”

“Oh! Lord we pray to you. Let not the evil spirit which is hidden in this water with all the wicked thoughts dwell in him” On the time of the baptism, Jesus had already begun his battle with the evil force by crushing his head on the ground initiating His ultimate victory on the third day of resurrection.

(Holy Spirit descending in the bodily form of a dove) On Epiphany, Jesus reveals Himself and also is revealed by the witness from Heaven. The Holy Spirit also took the bodily form of a dove (St. Luke 3:22) and the voice of the Father was being heard. Now turn our attention once again into the prayers of the holy church fathers which are chanted on the day of Epiphany (The prayers are given above). When the feast of Epiphany is being celebrated, let all the waters of the earth be purified by two things 1. By Jesus stepping into the water

2. By Jesus crushing the dark forces hidden in it. Also, let the feet of Jesus be upon our purposes and thoughts since they are being compared with waters in Proverbs 20:5.

Proverbs 20:5 “The







Let Him crush all the wicked thoughts and purposes against Him

Prayers, Fr. John Samuel, Vicar St. Gregorios Indian Orthodox church, London



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