ST. PAUL, MN – On Friday, January 5, parishioners gathered in temperatures that reached 0 degrees and fell below zero during the service at Hidden Falls Park in St. Paul, Minnesota, to join the Minnesota Eastern Orthodox Christian Clergy Association (www.meocca.org) at the 2nd annual Theophany/Epiphany Blessing of the Waters service on the Mississippi River.
The half-hour service was free and open to the public. The service ended with the local priests each immersing a gold cross in the Mississippi River, symbolizing Jesus Christ’s baptism in the River Jordan 2,000 years ago.
The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago has been proud to see a resurgence of this important yearly services within the states it oversees, including ten such services this year:
1) Minneapolis/St Paul, Minnesota, Blessing the Mississippi River
2) Dubuque, Iowa, Blessing the Mississippi River
3) Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Blessing the Cedar River
4) Sioux City, Iowa, Blessing the Missouri River
5) St Louis, Missouri, Blessing the Mississippi River
6) St Basil Greek Orthodox Church in Chicago Blessing the Chicago River
7) Peoria, Illinois, Blessing the Illinois River
8) Des Moines, Iowa, Blessing the Des Moines River
9) Des Plaines, Illinois, Blessing the Des Plaines River
10) Rockford, Illinois, Blessing the Rock River
Epiphany Theophany blessing of the Mississippi River in St. Paul, MN. Photo: John Ackerman
Epiphany Theophany blessing of the Mississippi River. Priests from various Orthodox churches took turns blessing the Mississippi River. Photo: John Ackerman