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Orthodox priests in Siouxland bless Missouri River

Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 6:20 PM CST
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - Two priests from the Orthodox churches in Sioux City blessed the Missouri River Friday.

The priests from Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church and St. Thomas Orthodox Church conducted the annual religious ceremony on the bank of the river in South Sioux City, Nebraska. Father Luke Melackrinos says Friday is about remembering St. John the Baptist, who baptized Jesus.

The river is blessed and an Orthodox Cross is thrown into the river, in remembrance of the baptism of Jesus.

“It’s about us reaching into the community. Everybody’s going to partake of this water that we’re blessing so it’s a way for us to reach out and to let our community know we’re with everybody in prayer, in Siouxland. And we’re going to bless the Missouri River as part of our expression of love for our community around us and our part of who we are in Siouxland,” said Father Luke.

Father Luke says since the baptism of Christ cannot be recreated, it’s the Orthodox community’s way of honoring the moment and recognizing water as a source of life. In other communities where the Cross can be retrieved from the water, the person who finds it is considered blessed for the year.

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