By: Deacon Peter Simko
At the conclusion of classes on the first Wednesday back from winter break, faculty, administration, seminarians, and guests gathered on the shore of the pond adjacent Saint Tikhon’s Road. The water was cold -- but not quite icey. Along with a small choir and a few servers and readers, seminary Dean, Father John Parker, served the Great Blessing of the Waters. At the conclusion of the service, a large processional cross was submerged into the pond in the form of a cross as all sang the festal troparion.
Thus began the procession to the seminary campus. Carrying a veritable number of bottles of Holy Water, the group sang the troparion joyfully over and over as Father John blessed the Saint John the Divine Memorial Chapel, the garage, the Metropolitan Leonty Dorm, the swimming pool, and the Seminary building proper (including all of the rooms -- and personages -- inside each structure). The halls of the seminary were quickly filled with splashes of Holy Water, radiant voices, smiles, and the grace of God. The service and the procession, led by the cross, concluded in the Saint Nikolai Chapel, where Father John shared a word with those participating in the yearly blessing.