The Theophany Feast or
the Great Blessing of Waters

For the Greeks in Vancouver, the Nativity feast culminates in the Feast of Theophany,
6 January. Theophany is the celebration of Christ's Baptism. The baptismal font, for Orthodox Christians, is understood as a spiritual womb. During the week of Theophany the Priest blesses the homes in the parish and prepares for the arrival of the Bishop for the Sunday liturgy.

Immediately following the sunday liturgy for the feast of Theophany, Bishop Soterios goes in procession to the Vancouver harbor, boards a boat and proceeds just off shore at Kitsalano Beach. He offers prayers of blessing for the gift of water including the Pacific Ocean. Following the blessing he takes his hand-cross, which is tied with a sprig of basil, and throws it into the water. The entrance of the cross of Christ into the water is a symbol of Christ's birth and baptism (Theophany) restoring the blessedness of creation. A young man from the local Greek community dives from another boat, swims to the place where the cross entered the ocean and dives to retrive the cross and bring it to the Bishop.