Blessing the Mon River - Orthodox church holds commemoration

Morgantown Dominion Post
12 January 2014
By Ben Conley

Members of the St. Mary’s Orthodox Church in Westover held their annual commemoration of Jesus’ baptism Saturday, at the Edith Barill Riverfront Park boat ramp in Star City.

A steady rain didn’t dampen the spirits of two dozen or so who sang hymns, read Scripture and prayed in the riverside gazebo.

“It’s really a special blessing and we view the rain as a little bit of a blessing in and of itself. We know that God is with us,” the Rev. Matthew Stagon said. “It’s better that it rains than it’s snowy and icy and people can’t get here.”

Rev. Stagon blessed the water of the Monongahela River and asked for a blessing for everyone near and far whose lives the water will touch, including the entire Morgantown community.

Rev. Stagon lowered a wooden cross into the river as a heavy fog hung across the water.

“We have asked God to bless and transform these waters, just as we ask God to bless and transform our lives,” Rev. Stagon said.

The river blessing was followed by a gathering for lunch. Rosemary Wesdock attended the blessing with her husband, Tom, and said praying for others “gives me a good feeling inside.”

“Everyone who we pray for, and we sincerely want all of that, all those blessings, upon the water, upon this city and everyone,” she said.