The Blessing of Lake Hickory

HICKORY, NC (January 29, 2019) — On Sunday, January 27th Father Paul Shellbach led the members of Archangel Gabriel Orthodox Church in the service for the Blessing of the Waters for Theophany on the Catawba River held at Rotary-Geitner Park in Hickory. This is the first time the service has been performed by the church at Lake Hickory.

The celebration is one of the Great Feasts of the Orthodox Christian Church, a practice to commemorate Theophany, or the Baptism of Christ. Theophany is the Feast, or celebration which reveals the Most Holy Trinity to the world through the Baptism of the Lord. The origin of the Feast of Theophany goes back to Apostolic times, and it is mentioned in The Apostolic Constitutions.

This observance commemorates Christ’s baptism by John the Forerunner in the River Jordan, and the beginning of Christ’s earthly ministry. The Feast of Theophany is the culmination of the Christmas Season, which starts on December 25 and ends on January 6. In mystic commemoration of this event, the Great Blessing of Water is performed on this day, and holy water is blessed so that it may to be used by the local priest to bless the homes of the faithful. It is traditional to extend that blessing to the local waters of the area.


Press Release submitted by Dan Rundquist