Inaugural Outdoor Blessing of the Water Service to be held on Chicago River

Inaugural Outdoor Blessing of the Water Service to be held on Chicago River



On Sunday, January 7, 2018, at 1:30pm at the Park Number 571 Boathouse, at 2828 South Eleanor Street in Chicago, St Basil Greek Orthodox Church will hold the Inaugural Theophany/Epiphany Blessing of the Waters service on the Chicago River.

Outdoor Blessing of the Water services are spiritual important for Eastern Orthodox parishioners, but rare in this part of the world. While in the past outdoor Blessing of the Water services have been held within the City of Chicago, it has been over a decade since this yearly service has been held and the first time known to be held on the Chicago River.

The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago has been proud to see a resurgence of this important yearly services within the states we oursee, including ten such services this year:

1) Minneapolis/St Paul, Minnesota, Blessing the Mississippi River

2) Dubuque, Iowa, Blessing the Mississippi River

3) Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Blessing the Cedar River

4) Sioux City, Iowa, Blessing the Missouri River

5) St Louis, Missouri, Blessing the Mississippi River

6) St Basil Greek Orthodox Church in Chicago Blessing the Chicago River

7) Peoria, Illinois, Blessing the Illinois River

8) Des Moines, Iowa, Blessing the Des Moines River

9) Des Plaines, Illinois, Blessing the Des Plaines River

10) Rockford, Illinois, Blessing the Rock River

The half-hour service is free and open to the public. The service will end with local priests lead by Father Dimitri Tobias immersing a gold cross in the Chicago River, symbolizing Jesus Christ’s baptism in the River Jordan 2,000 years ago.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Tuesday, January 2, 2018

CONTACT: John C. Ackerman, Director of Media Relations, PHONE: (309)635-7624 EMAIL:

Click here to download the brochure. 

Photo credit: Curbed Chicago


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About author

John C. Ackerman

I am a lifelong Central Illinois resident and a parishioner of All Saints Greek Orthodox Church in Peoria. My wife's parents are immigrants from a small village outside Athens. My wife (Maria) and I have two young sons, Christian age 4 and Dimitrios age 3. I am also a member of Chicago Metropolitan Council.