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Thursday, January 9, 2014 articles (index)
St James Orthodox Church to Celebrate “Holy Theophany”, Will Offer Service for the Blessing of the Waters of Beaufort, January 12, 2014

Service for the Blessing of the Waters of Beaufort, January 12, 2014

St James Orthodox Church to Celebrate “Holy Theophany”

Fr James Bozeman and the members of St James Orthodox Church will bless the waters surrounding Beaufort, South Carolina on Sunday, January 12, 2014. He and his parishioners will make their way to Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park at 12:30 pm, walking in a procession into the park, where a service referred to as “The Great Blessing of the Waters” will be served by Fr James. This service is a part of the commemoration of the baptism of Jesus Christ by St John the Baptist, and is celebrated each year as part of Holy Theophany (or “Epiphany”), on January 6th.

The term “theophany” refers to the “shining forth” or the “revelation” of Jesus Christ in the world, according to Christian tradition. Jesus Christ’s ministry in his earthly life is reckoned as beginning with his baptism in the Jordan River when he was thirty years old.

“Orthodox Christians understand that blessing the water is not a performance of some sort of empty ritual or a magic incantation to make the water into something different than what it is,” explains Fr James, “but instead we ask God to make the water into what it truly was meant to be: life-giving, healing and something by which we may encounter the grace of God.”

During this brief service, scripture passages pertaining to baptism will be read, several prayers will be offered by Fr James, and a cross will be thrown into the water three times. Orthodox Christians understand this to be an act which sanctifies and blesses those waters, which will then be used to bless the people gathered there.

St James Orthodox Church, a mission parish of the Orthodox Church in America, is located at 1014 Charles Street in Beaufort. Services are offered on Saturdays (Great Vespers, 6:00 pm), Sundays (Divine Liturgy at 9:30 am) and Wednesdays (Little Compline and Catechsim/Study Group), as well as liturgies on the feast days of the Church year. All persons are encouraged to visit, regardless of whether they are Orthodox Christians or not. Fr James may be reached via email (stjamesbeaufort@gmail.com), or by phone (706-716-3255).

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