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On Sunday, January 22nd, the Eastern Orthodox Clergy Brotherhood of Greater Philadelphia PA. celebrated the Great Blessing of the Waters by the Schuylkill River, at the Boathouse Row in Philadelphia. Leading the service was Fr. Stephen Hutnick, of Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Wilmington DE., president of the Orthodox Clergy Brotherhood. Co-celebrating with Fr. Stephen were Fr. Victor Gorodenchyk (Dean of St. Stephen’s Orthodox Cathedral (OCA), Fr. Gerald Olyncki (St. Mary’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Chester PA.), Fr. Gregory Dudash (ret.), Fr. Mark Koscak (Holy Assumption Orthodox Church, Philadelphia PA.), Fr. Joel Gilliam (St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, Upper Darby PA.), Fr. Nicholas Dellerman (Sts. Peter and Paul Albanian Orthodox Church, Philadelphia, PA.),  Fr. Emmanuel Pratsakis (ret.), Fr. Martin Browne (St. Mark the Evangelist Orthodox Church, Newtown PA.), Fr. Taras Neumenko (Dean, St. Valdimir’s Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral, Philadelphia PA.) and Fr. Milorad Orlic (St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church, Elkins Park PA.). Readings and responses were sung by the Pan-Orthodox choir of Philadelphia, under the direction of Dan Drobash.

In blessing the water of the Schuylkill River, during the chanting of the festal troparion three pairs of clergy cast three crosses craved from ice into the river. Local boats were also blessed with holy water, as well as the approximately one hundred faithful who braved the rainy weather, in order to be made wetter - with holy water!

Following the celebration of the Great Blessing of Waters, a reception was held where clergy and faithful continued to enjoy fellowship.  

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