‘We Bless the River for All the Good It Does’

The short video below was posted Sunday afternoon in the Times Leader.

The short video below was posted Sunday afternoon in the Times Leader, a newspaper for Northeastern Pennsylvania that covers the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area.

As the paper reported:

From the end of the Nesbitt Boat Launch, the Rev. Mykhaylo Prodanets tossed a large cross sculpted from ice into the Susquehanna River on Sunday.

As he threw both the cross and a bucket of holy water into the river, Prodanets prayed, “In the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.” He was invoking the name of the Holy Trinity during a service commemorating the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River. The ceremony mirrors prayers and actions done during the Divine Liturgy on the Feast of Theophany.

About two dozen Byzantine Catholic faithful joined Prodanets and two other priests and a deacon at the Annual Susquehanna River Blessing.

The Byzantine Catholic churches have been offering the service for more than 10 years, according to the Very Rev. Gary Mensinger. The churches used to hold the service on the Pierce Street bridge, but it has since moved to the boat launch.

Mensinger, who splits his time as pastor of both St. Michael’s in Pittston and St. Nicholas Parish in Swoyersville, said another purpose of the 30-minute service is to thank God for the vitality the river holds in the Wyoming Valley and to ask for protection from floods in the upcoming year.

Read more. And watch the video below:

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