Orthodox church members gather together to bless the Rock River - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Orthodox church members gather together to bless the Rock River

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -

Three churches came together Sunday to participate in an ancient blessing of water service.

Many gathered along the cold banks of the Rock River Sunday to participate in blessing the water. The Eastern Orthodox tradition dates back 2,000 years to commemorate the baptism of Christ.

People came together in prayer to ask God to bless all of Rockford. The churches united together to encourage others to unite, as well.

"We joined with one voice in Rockford," said Father Jonathan Bannon of Christ the Savior Orthodox Church. "I mean, how often in the world do we have voices clashing... the east and the west side of Rockford. But here on the very banks, we're coming together, united."

This is the third year for the blessing in Rockford, and parishioners say they will continue the tradition even in the cold temperatures.

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