Paramouni of Holy Theophany (Epiphany).
On this day it has been the tradition of the Orthodox Church, following the teachings of the holy fathers of the church, to fast until dusk, eating only what is permitted to be eaten during the holy forty days (Lent). If Christmas day or Epiphany falls on Wednesday or Friday, the saintly apostles ordained that the believers eat all the food that one is permitted to eat during the Pentecostal days (the post-resurrection fifty days). They are feasts to the Lord. The Paramouni days are fasted to compensate for the feast days, so that we may have the blessings of both the fast and the feast.
In the custom of our Coptic Orthodox church, if the Paramouni day falls on Saturday or Sunday, it is the tradition to fast on the Friday that precedes them also. Then they pray on water before midnight and they wash and bless everyone who wants to be blessed. The reason to complete this before midnight is because of the fear that the little children may break their fasting by drinking water.
We ask Christ to purify us, cleanse us from all our abominations, forgive our sins, and make us worthy to receive the revelation of the glory of His divine nature in our hearts and in our deeds, as He revealed His glory in the Jordan River.
To Him be the Glory with His Good Father and His Holy Spirit, now and forever, and to the end of ages. Amen.
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