Jeffersonville – Valley Forge, PA – The banks of the Schuylkill River attracted parishioners from St. Sophia Greek Orthodox church yesterday. It was the 11th anniversary of Epiphany Day services along just down the road from their parish.
Fr. Peter J. Thornberg conducted services first at his church, where he blessed his flock and then each of them individually. Small bottles of blessed water were shared amongst those to take home, following services. But before many of them left, they headed down to the Schuylkill River to celebrate the second half of the service which has become a tradition.
This observance commemorates Christ’s baptism by John the Forerunner in the River Jordan, and the beginning of Christ’s earthly ministry. In mystic commemoration of this event, the Great Blessing of Water is performed on this day, and the holy water so blessed is used by the local priest to bless the homes of the faithful.