THE GREAT BLESSING OF THE WATERS IN CORFU
On Monday afternoon, January 6, 2020, the Great Blessing of the Waters was made despite the cold, with the presence of his Eminence, the Bishop of Corfu, Paxoi and Diapontian Islands, Mr. Nektarios.
In his message to the crowd in the old harbor, Mr. Nektarios pointed out that just as in the Old Testament, Moses threw the wood into the water of Mera and the bitterness stopped and everything was sweet and in the time of grace the Honorable Cross sanctifies the waters and enables the bitterness of our lives that comes from sin, loneliness, evil, death, to be replaced by the sweetness of the presence of Christ, who by love sanctifies everything both humans and creation. Let the light of His presence be in our souls and give them joy and hope!
The festivities began with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy and the Great Blessing Service in which many people participated, in all the parishes of the island. Mr. Nektarios did the Service in the Holy Metropolitan Church of the Virgin Mary of Spilaiotissa.
In his sermon Mr. Nektarios noted that all these days our Church is celebrating the manifestation of the incarnate Word of God. Christ rose immediately from the water to the Jordan River. The other people had sins and confessed them to Prodromos. Christ came out of the water immediately and immediately the Holy Trinity appeared. The whole fact is the Easter’s predesigned image. Our master goes down to the grave and to hell to meet the fallen human. Christ at Baptism descends on the Jordan River to capture the ancient evil dragon, the one who pushed humans into fall and calamity. And as it comes out of the river, the whole human nature is reborn, and the whole building is renovated. Thus humans get the opportunity to move on in the life of grace.
This is the experience of the Orthodox Christian, which we are experiencing today as a present. The events of the divine economy are an invitation to our renovation. We are also called, taking advantage of the freedom God has given us, to free ourselves from the immoral dragon, to deny evil, to be resurrected by love, and to find the Divine Knowledge. So our daily life will become a course of salvation, resurrection, joy, sanctification and renovation. The manifestation of God also brings the light of His grace, which will accompany us and shine in our lives if we accept it!
Then, a procession took place, with the participation of the holy clergy, the military and political authorities of the island, the philarmonic Band KAPODISTRIAS and many people. They went to the old harbour, where the Great Blessing of the Waters took place and despite the freezing temperatures, many brave swimmers dived in to catch the Holy Cross. A young man, from the Netherlands, Tom finally caught the cold. Mr. Nektarios gave him a small cross, as a blessing!