Blessing the Iowa River - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Blessing the Iowa River

IOWA CITY (KWWL) - Members of St. Raphael Orthodox Mission of Iowa City, St. George Orthodox Church of Cedar Rapids, and St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church of Cedar Rapids will gather to bless the waters of the Iowa River in Coralville as part of their celebration of Epiphany, which remembers the baptism of Jesus Christ.

The blessing is on January 9 at 11 AM on the pedestrian bridge spanning the Iowa River, next to Iowa Power Restaurant and Flannigan's, 501 1st Ave., Coralville. Participants are invited to gather at Flannigan's for lunch afterward.

January 6 is the celebration of Epiphany, also known as Theophany, in the Orthodox Church. This feast day is focused on the baptism of Jesus Christ by St. John the Baptist. Water plays an important role in the remembrance of this event. Because of this, in conjunction with Epiphany services, each Orthodox Church holds a blessing of water service in their church. The water that is blessed becomes the holy water used in the church and in the homes of Orthodox Christians throughout the following year. In addition to this indoor service, it is customary for Orthodox Churches to travel to a nearby body of water and to hold a similar service of blessing. Orthodox Christians believe that by becoming material in the Person of Jesus Christ, the immaterial God blessed and made holy all of creation, including our natural environment. By blessing the waters of the Iowa River, we are claiming this as part of God's creation and making a statement that we have been entrusted to be good stewards of the earth by caring for its natural resources.

This event is sponsored by Iowa Orthodox Christian Clergy Association (IOCCA) and St. Raphael Orthodox Church of Iowa City.


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