Orthodox Christians Celebrate the Great Blessing of Waters at Camp Victory in Baghdad


On Friday, January 7, 2005, the Post Feast of Theophany commemorating the baptism of Our Lord, Jesus Christ in the Jordan, the Very Rev. Jerome Cwiklinski, CDR, CHC, USN, a US Navy chaplain, celebrated the Great Blessing of Water at Camp Victory in Baghdad.  The Tigris River feeds the artificial lake that surrounds the palace.

Father Cwiklinski blesses soldiers from Ukraine, who joined Orthodox soldiers from the US, the Republic of Georgia, Macedonia, and Romania for Theophany services.  Holding the festal icon is the Reader Luke Christian Bell, a chaplain's assistant in the US Army and son of the Rev. Antony Bell, pastor of St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church in Topeka, IN.