Asbury Park, NJ – This past Sunday afternoon hundreds of Greek Orthodox faithful gathered on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, adjacent to the Paramount boardwalk pier. The occasion was to celebrate the annual Blessing of the Waters. His Eminence, Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey threw a white wooden cross into the ocean for Orthodox teenagers to retrieve. Junior and Senior boys and girls groups dove in to retrieve the cross.

The tradition now in its 66th year, started with a Divine Liturgy service and short memorial service for the late Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras at the Paramount Theater and Convention center. Some 18 churches participated at the event.