Asbury Park, NJ – Four divers got to experience euphoria this past Sunday. It’s was a pleasure of a lifetime most of us will never know. Four teen agers from the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey retrieved the cross at the annual Blessing of the Waters. The annual event follows a more than 65 year tradition following a divine liturgy service at the famed Paramount theatre on the boardwalk of Asbury Park beach.

A procession led by Archimandrite George Nikas made it’s way to the beach. It included much of the Greek Orthodox Clergy, many altar boys and young people. Archimandrite George Nikas then conducted a blessing of the Waters and threw four wooden crosses into the water. Young boys and girls, representing their parish, raced into the water hoping to retrieve the cross which would bring them blessings throughout the year. The winners were Victoria Ritorto, Christopher Boutsikaris, Randolph Peter Mitrakis, and Alexis Sideris.

The spectacular event was attended by thousands of Greek Orthodox faithful. The annual celebration and blessing offered a prayer that the world’s oceans, which connect all people of the Earth.