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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2017:01:29 04:30:05

2017 Blessing of water by Rev. Gary Mensinger, St. Michael's Byzantine Catholic Church, Pittston

The 15th annual river blessing of the Susquehanna will be held at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 28, near the boat launch area of Nesbitt River Park, Kingston. Each year, the Byzantine Catholic Churches of Wyoming Valley, including St. Michael’s Byzantine Catholic Church, Pittston, bless the waters of the Susquehanna River. This tradition of faith is a reminder that water is a vital gift from God, necessary for all life, including for Christians, the belief of new life in Christ in the sacrament of baptism. The blessing includes a procession of all present and a short outdoor prayer service is held. The service concludes with the mingling of the blessed water and symbolic ice cross into the river. Nesbitt Park is located along the west shore of the Susquehanna River between the Market Street and Veterans Memorial bridges. To reach the park from Greater Pittston, take Wyoming Avenue to Pierce Street, Kingston, and turn left onto First Avenue. Follow the road as it curves to the right toward the river and go up and over the dike. The road circles around and under the Pierce Street/Veterans Memorial Bridge to the end of the road, where ample parking is available. Above, the Rev. Gary Mensinger, of St. Michael’s Byzantine Catholic Church, Pittston, takes part in last year’s ceremony.