Members of the All Saints Greek Orthodox Church of Peoria came together in the annual blessing of the Illinois River this weekend.
Stemming from an ancient tradition and with other orthodox communities, the parish blessed the river as the Bishop dropped a cross into the water.
The event is symbolic of Christ’s baptism in the river of Jordan.
“To bless a river or a body of water is significant because we wanted to sanctify the waters and pray for the preservation of creating,” said Bishop Demetrios of Moskissos.
This is the fifth year the Greek Orthodox has held the symbolic event. They plan to continue the tradition next year.