Thursday, January 5, 2017
Noon: Blessing of the Fleet at the entrance to the Sponge Exchange— Clergy will bless the fisherman, their vessels, the water in which they travel, and wish them safe and prosperous voyages. The service will occur at the Sponge Docks on the Anclote River which feeds into the Gulf of Mexico. Commercial fisherman and recreational boaters will participate.
Friday, January 6, 2017
8 a.m: Orthos & Divine Liturgy Epiphany Services at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 36 N. Pinellas Ave., Tarpon Springs
12 p.m: Great Blessing of the Waters (at Cathedral) Celebrated by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Archdiocese of America and Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta.
12:30 p.m: Traditional Litany Procession- Hierarchs, clergy, dignitaries and thousands of faithful onlookers will form a stirring procession to Spring Bayou, lead by altar boys, school children in traditional costumes, choir members and Greek Folk dance groups from throughout the Tampa Bay area. The dove bearer will release the dove.
1 p.m: Casting of the Cross- The Archbishop will cast a custom made, specially weighted, white wooden cross into the water and the young men will dive for the honor of retrieving the Holy Cross.
In a moving scene, the retriever will kneel and present the cross to the Archbishop and, in return, receive a blessing. The divers, hierarchs and clergy will return to the Cathedral for final remarks and presentations.
12:30 to 11 p.m: Epiphany Glendi- The Epiphany Glendi (celebration) will include food, drink, live music and dancing and will be held at the St Nicholas Spanos-Pappas Community Center. There will also be displays of traditional Greek dancing. At the Glendi, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios will honor the Epiphany divers and the Cross retriever.
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