The Patriarch Of Romania Celebrated The Great Consecration Of The Water
6 January 2011, over 3000 faithful were present at the Patriarchal Hill. His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel celebrated the Great Consecration of the Holy Water in front of the Patriarchal Residence, together with His Grace Ciprian Campineanul and His Grace Varlaam Ploiesteanul, Assistant Bishops to the Patriarch, assisted by a group of priests and deacons. As every year, on the eve on the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, an ice cross was put in the courtyard of the Patriarchal Cathedral, about three metres high, decorated with flowers, fir branches and basil.
Barrels of about 8000 litres of water - from the fountain of the Mother of God dug deeply in the ground in the park of the Patriarchal Residence - were also prepared.
To end with, His Beatitude delivered a sermon in which he explained the difference between the High Holy Water and the Low Holy Water. The Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church has also explained that this consecrated water reminds us of our baptism and emphasised its importance in the life of the faithful.
"This consecrated water is a source of divinity, forgiveness of sins, healing of the diseases, and used for chasing away the demons, for deification and purification of our souls and bodies as well as for any other need. This is why this water called Holy High Water is drunk before eating; we have it today before breakfast and the next eight days too, till 14 January, a day also called Apodosis (in Greek) or the end of the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Why eight? Because the figure 8 means eternity. So, this consecrated water reminds us of the Baptism of the Lord, of our baptism, and calls us to eternal love and life in the light of the Holy Trinity. This water is used then somebody is ill, when he or she cannot have the Holy Communion, but the father confessor tells him or her to taste this consecrated water", said the Patriarch of Romania.
The faithful taste the Holy High Water for eight days, from the Epiphany till 14 January, when the Church celebrates the end of the feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
Source: Romanian Church Official Site