Theophany in Minneapolis
The St. Panteleimon parish in Minneapolis, MN celebrated the great feast of the Theophany with Divine Services beginning on Friday, January 5/18. Friday services started this year with Royal Hours and Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil. The Service of the Great Blessing of Water was done after the Liturgy. The Divine Services for the feast itself were well attended. Vigil with blessing of loaves was served by Rev. Fr. Antony Alekseyenko and Fr. Basil Gilliland. Hours and Divine Liturgy were celebrated in festive manner with many partaking of the Holy Mysteries. The rite of the Great Blessing of the Waters was served immediately at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy.
It is a tradition to bless the waters at a nearby lake on the Feast day. Minnesota is known as a State of 10,000 lakes. Lake Johanna (Иоанново озеро) is one of the popular recreational lakes in the area and is well known for all-year-around fishing. With the help of several parishioners the "jordan" was made [this is a reference to the Russian custom of cutting an opening in the ice, generally in the form of a cross - Editor] and Fr. Antony blessed the lake with the Service of Great Blessing. Some parishioners then immersed themselves into the water three times in the remembrance of Our Lord's Baptism.