Saturday, January 12, 2013

Blessing of Blackhawk Lake

Last Sunday, Epiphany Sunday, some of the faithful from St. Elizabeth Orthodox Church gathered at Blackhawk Lake to celebrate Theophany which commemorates the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan. Trekking along the park's frozen path in procession with cross and gospel, the ceremony culminated on the lake itself with the blessing of its waters through a large opening in the ice cut out in the shape of a cross.

Reading a gospel story and then a poem first recited in Jerusalem in the 7th Century, the community's pastor, Fr. Marc Boulos, blessed and then sprinkled the lake's waters on the small crowd huddled around the cross-shaped opening. "The baptism of Jesus," Boulos explained, "draws attention to Biblical accounts of God's struggle to safeguard life on earth, despite humanity's repeated miss-steps...the blessing is given as an expression of gratitude for life itself."

Photo credits: Paul O'Connor, Renee Zitzloff, Deborah del Castillo
Text credit: Hollie Benton


Dina said...

I know the blessing of the Jordan River done by the Orthodox here in Israel--but in Minnesota too??!! Thank you for these enlightening and beautiful photos, Leif and friends! How I admire your dedication, there on the ice and snow.
If Jesus had been born over there and if his baptism had been in Blackhawk Lake, I think the Feast of Theophany would be in the summer and not in the dead of winter.
Blessings to you all.

Irredento Urbanita said...

Popular devotion and people faith, a question of respect althought I don't feel the same as them. Great photos, they could be in a newspaper. Hugs.


Barcelona Daily Photo

Marc Boulos said...

Next year in Jerusalem! ;)

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year from Bordeaux(France) and long live City daily Photo !

Kate said...

What an interesting post, Leif! Yes, let's get together before the 28th when we leave for SC. PS. I have been out of town, Up North, for a week near the Canadian border without internet or cell phone capability. Very peaceful and serene and I loved it; gorgeous sunrises and sunsets. But I have not been able to visit any of my blogger friends. It'll take awhile to read all of my email messages and to visit your posts to see what I've missed, but it's good to be back!

VP said...

An amazing ceremony, I have never seen anything like this!

Anonymous said...

How very interesting. Great where alike is possible, and happening. Yes, looks really cold ! Please have a good Sunday ahead.

TheChieftess said...

How interesting! I've never seen/heard of this practice...when I first saw the photo I was thinking it was an Indian blessing...but when I enlarged it I realized what it was...(I think I need new computer glasses!)

Hilda said...

Now that's a very interesting and unusual practice. Nice, though. Love their marigold robes too!

Victor said...

Whow! Hats off to these people.

Jesus does exist after all. :(

HE sure does sinner vic.

GOD (GOOD OLD DAD) loves all HIS Children


Happy New Year


Gunn said...

What a unique event!
Interesting and a nice documentary.