The Holy Metropolis of the Genuine
Greek Orthodox Church of America
Cathedral of Saint Markella
2268 26 Street * Astoria, NY 11105
December 7, 2011
THEOPHANIA (Epiphany) at Battery Park
The Holy Metropolis is pleased to announce that for the tenth time since 2001 the blessing of the harbor of New York City on Theophania will again take place, this time in the shadow of the new Freedom Tower at the World Trade Center.
On Thursday, January 19, 2012 - following Divine Liturgy at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St. Markella, His Eminence PAVLOS, the Metropolitan of America, will lead the clergy and faithful to the harbor where he will conduct a service to bless the waters of the great city. He will complete 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. A dozen young men will dive into the harbor hoping to reach the Cross first and return it to Metropolitan PAVLOS.
This ancient and holy Christian ritual, dating from the time of the Emperors in Constantinople, will be 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 Holy Metropolis invites everyone to come witness this glorious and joyful Holy Tradition together with the clergy and faithful of the Cathedral. It is expected that the solemn procession to Battery Park will begin at 1 PM from Bowling Green Park on lower Broadway (next to the statue of the bull). As has become the tradition the procession will be lead by the incomparable Monaghan Bag-Pipe Band.
The ritual itself will take place at the water directly adjacent to the the Merchant Mariners Memorial Statue just south of Pier A.
Seats on buses from the Cathedral in Astoria will be available by reservation. Contact me for directions by public transportation or automobile.
God be with you,
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