On 14 November 2012, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, celebrated the Office of the Great Blessing of Waters on the Jordan River in the presence of Metropolitan Benedict of Philadelphia, locum tenens of the Patriarch of Jerusalem in Jordan; Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations (DECR), Archbishop Mark of Berlin, Germany and Great Britain, the first deputy chairman of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia; Bishop Sergiy of Solnechnogorsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Administrative Secretariat; archpriest Nikolai Balashov, DECR vice-chairman; archpriest Igor Yakimchuk, DECR secretary for inter-Orthodox relations; and other persons.
The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church congratulated all those present on the blessing of waters on the site of baptism of Jesus Christ. He said that while blessing the water, we call upon the power of God’s grace, the power of the Holy Spirit to unite with the nature of water and fill it with the power of another being.
“The Office of the Great Blessing of Waters in a certain sense reveals to us the mystery of that what has happened through the nativity, passion, death and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour: people can now rely on the power of God… History is being accomplished in the amazing and mysterious combination of human freedom and God’s presence in the world.
“People who ignore this are radically mistaken. We are capable of transforming the world and our own souls for the better only when human efforts are combined with the power of God. Christ has come to the world for this…
“May the grace of the Holy Spirit be with all who opens their hearts to it. May the Lord keep you all.”