Blessing of the water

Blessed water is given to hospital staff for personal use, or to take to patients, after the celebration of the New Year and Armenian Christmas with the "Blessing of the Water" ceremony conducted at the entrance of Glendale Memorial Hospital by His Eminence Archbishop Moushegh Mardirosian, Prelate of the Western United States of America on Friday, January 3, 2014. (Tim Berger / Staff Photographer / January 3, 2014)

Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center hosted a water blessing ceremony to celebrate Christmas days before the Jan. 6 date that marks the Epiphany, or the baptism of Jesus.

Archbishop Moushegh Mardirosian, who was accompanied by fellow religious leaders, said the members of the Armenian Apostolic Church traditionally celebrate Christmas on Jan. 6.

“At this most joyous time of the year, once again we thank God for another year, and for the greatest gift of all — the birth of our lord and savior, Jesus Christ.”

Mardirosian led a ceremony in which he blessed water in a bowl, symbolizing Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist in the Jordan River.

Following the ceremony, Mardirosian said a prayer to bless the hospital’s staff and patients.

The ceremony has taken place for years at the hospital, but it was the first time it was held in the main lobby, where dozens of hospital staff members convened.

Jack Ivie, president of Glendale Memorial, said the ceremony is largely for the hospital’s employees, many of whom are of Armenian descent.

Following the blessing, those who attended were welcome to take small containers of the blessed water for themselves or for patients.

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Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.


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