2018 Blessing of the Water Services
2018 BLESSING OF THE WATER SERVICES
TEN SERVICES HELD THROUGHOUT THE METROPOLIS OF CHICAGO IN 2018
CHICAGO, IL: For 2018, Outdoor Blessing of the Water Services have been held in ten communities within the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago. Each January 6, Eastern Orthodox Christians throughout the world celebrate Theophany, which in Greek mean “manifestation of God.” The feast day commemorates the Baptism of Christ and the revelation of the Holy Trinity.
One element of the feast’s observance is the Blessing of the Waters (Greek: Aghiasmos, “sanctification”). Traditionally, is celebrated twice: once within the festal celebration within the church in a specially prepared font and, where possible, outdoors at a natural body of water. At each, a Crucifix is plunged into the water. For the outdoor blessing it is customary, in warmer climates, for the Cross to be retrieved by swimmers.
The outdoor Blessing of the Water service at a major waterway is rare in this part of the United States due to our climate. This year the Metropolis of Chicago witnessed ten outdoor services within the six Midwest states we oversee. Here is a listing of those services and photos of the majority of them:
A) Minneapolis/St Paul on January 5 Blessing the Mississippi River
B) Dubuque on January 6 Blessing the Mississippi River
F) St Basil in Chicago on January 7 Blessing the Chicago River
G) Peoria on January 13 Blessing the Illinois River
H) Des Plaines on January 21 Blessing the Des Plaines RiverH
I) Des Moines on January 20 Blessing Grey's Lake
J) Rockford on January 28 Blessing the Rock River
The Eastern Orthodox Church is the second largest Christian denomination worldwide. The Metropolis of Chicago oversees all Greek Orthodox Parishes within Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, as well as large portions of Missouri and Indiana. You can find more information on the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago on our website at www.Chicago.GoArch.org or our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/MetropolisofChicago.