Priests from the Orthodox Christian Churches of Greater Harrisburg will bless the Susquehanna River on Jan. 15 in a service dating to the earliest days of Christianity.

The fourth annual “Great Blessing of the Waters,” held as part of the Orthodox Epiphany or Theophany celebration, will be held at 2 p.m. Jan. 15 on City Island at the dock by the River View Pavilion.

Theophany celebrates the revelation of the Holy Trinity to the world through John the Baptist’s baptizing Jesus Christ in the waters of the Jordan River.

“This ceremony has a rich tradition, dating back to the earliest days of Christianity,” said the Rev. Stephen Vernak, pastor of Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church in Lower Paxton Twp., one of the ceremony’s participants.

“This had been an annual event in the life of our local Orthodox churches for over 30 years,” he said.

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