FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – The parish of St. Demetrios was doubly blessed during Epiphany celebrations in South Florida. This timeless tradition commemorates the baptism of Jesus Christ in the river Jordan. The celebration includes the clergy blessing the water and reading a passage from the Bible. Then a dove is released, which symbolizes the Holy Spirit, and finally, a cross is thrown into the water.
On January 6, the ceremony was presided over by Fr. Peter Zougras, presiding priest of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Fort Lauderdale. Parish members gathered along the shore at Lauderdale-by-the-Sea and the service was held on the Anglin’s Fishing Pier, owned by the family of Spiro Marchelos, who are members of the parish.
Konstantinos Dimitrakopoulos retrieved the cross. A senior at Cardinal Gibbons High School, a star member of their basketball team, and a scholarship recipient, he is staying with his adopted family, Pauline and Pam Stamm, who are longtime members of St. Demetrios. They are very proud of him in all of his endeavors! His parents and family in Greece feel extremely blessed that he has been embraced by the entire Fort Lauderdale community.
St. Catherine Greek Orthodox Church in West Palm Beach held the Blessing of the Waters on January 7. This year, Nicholas Klonaris of Cooper City, retrieved the cross and received a blessing from the clergy. Klonaris is a senior at St. Thomas Aquinas High School. He is active in his home church of St. Demetrios, serving in the altar and participating in GOYA.
Klonaris said, “I fell extremely blessed and honored to participate in Epiphany and to be the one to get the cross. It is a special experience I will never forget.”
His parents Pantelis and Amy, and brother/fellow diver Jordan are extremely proud of him. He is the third generation in the Klonaris family to participate in the Epiphany tradition. Axios to all of the participants around the globe who took part in Epiphany celebrations!