Blessing of Waters
- [Message from Fr. Michael Oleksa]
The bishop of Nunavut, the Inuit region of Canada, is joining with the Orthodox in Alaska this year to bless the waters of the Arctic as the Russians in Siberia and along their Arctic coasts are performing the Rite of the Great Blessing of Water on the Feast of Theophany.
Inspired by the Blessing of Water "Tour" conducted last year by His Grace, Bishop Benjamin of San Francisco who visited Tanaina Indian and Yup'ik Eskimo communities in western Alaska threatened by the development of the Pebble gold and copper mine, Bishop Mark MacDonald decided that this year the entire north should be blessed simultaneously, with the Anglican Church of Canada conducting a similar celebration in their northern regions.
Much of the text for the prayers and readings to be used in the Episcopal service are clearly inspired by or derived from the Orthodox rite.
We think this is wonderful show of spiritual and liturgical solidarity on the part of Christians around the top of the world in declaring the natural environment a sacred treasure that we hold in trust for future generations.
Fr. Michael Oleksa
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