Created on Friday, 24 January 2020 01:11
On Sunday, January 6/19, 2020, the Orthodox Church celebrated the Feast of Holy Theophany, and once again, the blessing of the harbor of New York City took place at Battery Park, conducted by clergy of our Cathedral and accompanied by many faithful Orthodox Christians.
With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Demetrius of America, following the Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of Saint Markella in Astoria, New York, His Grace Bishop Christodoulos led the clergy and faithful to the harbor where he conducted a service to bless the waters of the great city. His Grace completed the blessing by casting a Cross into the icy waters. This symbolizes the baptism of Jesus Christ in the Jordan at the hands of St. John the Baptist. Ten men dove into the harbor to retrieve the Cross, and Jacob Roettger reached the Cross first and returned it to Bishop Christodoulos.
This ancient and holy Christian ritual, dating from the time of the emperors in Constantinople, was witnessed by the people of New York through the cooperation of the local authorities, and assisted by FDNY harbor launches, and NYPD scuba divers.
The clergy, faithful, public servants, and onlookers present shared this blessing and were spiritually edified. The procession was led by the incomparable Monaghan Bag-Pipe Band, as it has been every year for the past seventeen years.