Home » Byzantine Catholic » RIVER BLESSING 2017


SUNDAY    JANUARY 29 , 2017
Time: 2 pm
Nesbitt Park Boat Launch, Kingston, Pa


We welcome everyone in our community to join the Byzantine Catholic Parishes of Wyoming Valley for the 14th Annual Susquehanna River Blessing in Kingston, Pa.

We continue this tradition as part of the Eastern Church tradition of blessing water (“The Great Blessing of Water”) with the feast of Theophany (January 6).  Eastern Churches (both Catholic and Orthodox) commemorate the baptism of Jesus Christ in the Jordan River on Theophany (also known as Epiphany).   This Christian tradition is practiced in other parts of the world such as Eastern Europe and Middle East .

In union with the significance of this historical event, it is customary for Eastern Christians to bless the waters of nearby local streams or rivers.  This is done reverently as a reminder that Christ sanctified the waters of the Jordan and thereby all water in God’s creation.  It is through water that all Christians are baptized and enter into the life of Christ in the belief of eternal salvation.

As good stewards of the earth, we respect water as a gift from God and realize our dependence upon this vital natural resource for sustaining all life.


Directions to Nesbitt Park, Kingston

The river commons park is located along the west shore of the Susquehanna River between the Market Street and Veterans Memorial bridges.  To reach the park, drive to Pierce Street, Kingston to 1st Avenue (along the left side of Wyoming Valley Motors/Subaru).  If coming from Route 11/Wyo. Avenue proceed past Arby’s on the left and turn left onto 1st Avenue.

If coming from River Street Wilkes-Barre, cross the Veterans Memorial bridge and turn right onto 1st Avenue.   Follow the road as it curves to the right towards the river and go up and over the dike (it circles around and under the Pierce/Veterans’ Memorial bridge) to the parking area near the Market Street bridge.  Parking area is a large paved area.

SPECIAL NOTE:  Everyone is invited to a social following the blessing.  It will be held at St. Mary’s Social Hall, 522 Madison St. Wilkes-Barre, Pa (St. Mary of the Assumption Byzantine Catholic Church, Wilkes-Barre). 

See also page 6  April Eastern Catholic Life for 2015 River Blessing Article:

River Blessing 2015.png

St. Michael Church along the Susquehanna River in Pittston, Pennsylvania (photo taken in January 2017)
Susquehanna in Pittston (1024x647)

View of Susquehanna River in Pittston looking south (photo taken September 2015 from the Fort Jenkins bridge)