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Blessing of water

Assumption of the Virgin Church was the host of this year’s Great 
Blessing of the Waters in Philadelphia. This year, we blessed the 
Delaware River from the deck of four-masted sailing ship 
“Moshulu” (largest sailing ship still afloat!) which is now a 
restaurant.

His Grace, TIKHON, Bishop of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania  celebrated, with Archpriest Vincent Saverino (Saint Michael’s Church,  Moscow Patriarchate), Archpriest John Bohush (Saint Nicholas’ Church)  and Archpriest John Udics, Dean of the Philadelphia Deanery and  Secretary of the Philadelphia Orthodox Clergy Brotherhood, and  Protodeacon Gregory Moser (Saint Mark’s Church, Wrightstown). Also  present were Archpriest Theodore Heckman (Saint Mark’s),  Priest  Victor Gorodenchuk (Dean of Saint Stephen’s Cathedral), Subdeacon  Gregory Hatrak  and Reader Larry Bonczar (Saint John  Chrysostom Church). We were honored also by the presence of Bishop Paul Hewett (Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the Holy Cross and  Rector of the Church of the Transfiguration in Phoenixville). The  Choir of Saint Nicholas’ Church, under the direction of Mr Matthew  Bohush, lead the fifty faithful assembled in singing the responses.

Parishioners from Saint John Chrysostom Church, Philadelphia, the 
Church of Our Lady, Joy of All Who Sorrow (Russian Orthodox Church  Outside Russia), Saint Nicholas’ Church (Serbian Patriarchate) and  members of the Philadelphia area Orthodox Christian Fellowship and  other parishes in our area were in attendance, along with some of the ship/restaurant’s staff.

The skies were blue and the white clouds raced across the sky, the 
wind was chilling, but the upper deck of the ship was heated and the 
space was very comfortable. The singing was heartfelt, the service 
moved along, we blessed crosses made of ice and threw them into the  river, we blessed the "Moshulu" and prayed for her owners and staff,  and all present drank of the blessed spring water before we added it  to the river as well.

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