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The Great Blessing of Water at the Jordan River
By "Orthodoxy and the World"
Jan 20, 2011, 09:59
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Two thousand years ago St. John the Forerunner taught here and at this place exactly the Lord Jesus Christ came to be baptized from St. John.

It's not so easy to venerate the holy place today because of the national border between Israel and Jordan which passes by here. But on the feast of the Theophany the border is opened and the two hierarchs  Patriarch of Jerusalem and Archbishop of Jordan, celebrate the Great Blessing of Water.

National border

Addition to the landscape

In the Israeli side there is a small monastery of St. John the Forerunner. Clergy and pilgrims pass by the monastery in order to reach the river.

Across from the Jordan rises the church of Theophany

The faithful with the Patriarch of Jerusalem at the head are approaching the holy river.

In the center is Patriarch Theophil of Jerusalem and all Palestine

Clergy of the Jerusalem Patriarchate and of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission are taking part in the service.

Carrying the icon is the then head of the Russian Mission archimandrite Tikhon (Zaitsev), now bishop of Podolsky

The service is being performed by Patriarch Theophil of Jerusalem and all Palestine.

Instead of a hair sprinkler hyssop is used here

At the end of services a dove is traditionally released.

After the Great Blessing of Water the pilgrims, if it is possible, sink into the waters of the holy river Jordan.


The photos are from the archive of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jersualem.

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