Here is St Matthew’s account: ‘Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptised by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfil all righteousness.” Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptised, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him; and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”’

In the icon for the Feast, shown below, John the Baptist’s face is turned towards the One whom he recognises as ‘He who is to come’.  On the opposite bank are the angels, who witness this revelation of the Holy Trinity. In the bottom left-hand corner is an axe and a small tree, symbolising the repentance called for by John. The One who is without sin takes upon Himself the sin of the world in this baptism of repentance.

Here is a Troparion for the Feast: ‘When Thou, O Lord, wast baptised in the Jordan the worship of the Trinity was made manifest! For the voice of the Father bare witness to Thee, calling Thee his Beloved Son. And the Spirit, in the form of a dove, confirmed the truthfulness of his Word. O Christ our God, who hast revealed Thyself and hast enlightened the world, glory to Thee’.

May God bless you and pour His grace upon you on this beautiful day!