On the eve of Theophany (Baptism of the Lord) and Theophany itself solemn Divine Services were held for the Orthodox community in Beijing held by Priest Alexy Kiselevich. The Services took place in the "Red Fangzi"—the oldest edifice on the grounds of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Beijing, where in the past the Hierarch's residence of the Russian Spiritual Mission in Beijing was situated.
On January 18-19, the Services were attended by many of the faithful living in Beijing. During the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, around thirty people received Christ's Holy Mysteries.
First, on the central pond in the Embassy of the Russian Federation an ice-hole was cut (Jordan), where during night the parishioners with accompanying prayers performed the Theophany bathing. Until this, during previous years, the faithful entered ice-holes in the open pool on the grounds of the Russian Embassy. Many of the parishioners for the first time this year has submerged in the ice cold water. Also, it is notable that many of the bold ones were girls. During the Night of the Lord's Baptism the air temperature in Beijing has dropped to six degrees below zero. After the Divine Liturgy, in the following couple of days the service of the Great Sanctification of waters was performed. Due to the multitude of people wishing to take with themselves of the Baptismal holy water, almost 650 liters of water were sanctified.
In the morning of January 19th, just after the Divine Liturgy, a solemn Litany was done leading to the pond of the Embassy, where Priest Alexy held the Service of the Great Sanctification of waters and blessed the faithful to enter the holy waters.