Moscow, January 18, Interfax - The Moscow Patriarchate clergy are planning to consecrate all four of the planet's oceans on the night before Epiphany.
This is in line with an ancient Orthodox tradition of consecrating water in churches, as well as open bodies of water, to celebrate the apparition of Christ, the priests who will perform the service both in Russia and other countries told Interfax-Religion.
The Arctic Ocean is expected to be consecrated in the village of Tiksi, the northernmost populated locality of Yakutia, on the shore of the Laptev Sea.
The Russian parish community in Reykjavik will gather on the Atlantic coast, where the local priest Timofey Zolotusky, will also perform the great consecration of water.
The Pacific Ocean will be consecrated on the coast of Siam Bay in Thailand, in Novik Bay (Sea of Japan) in the Primorsky Territory, and in Gertner Bay (Sea of Okhotsk) in the Magadan Region.
The Indian Ocean will be consecrated in the Persian Gulf, in the United Arab Emirates, home to a Russian Orthodox community which has for many years been led by Archimandrate Alexander (Zarkeshev).
On January 19, Orthodox Christians commemorate the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan.