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Orthodox Christian Community Blesses Waters Off Santa Barbara Harbor.

Hours before Sunday’s storm passed through Santa Barbara, members of Santa Barbara’s Orthodox Christian Community celebrated Epiphany or “Blessing of the Waters” at the Santa Barbara Harbor.

People from St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church and St. Athanasius Antiochian Orthodox Church honored an ancient tradition-by throwing a cross into the ocean, and having children dive into the chilly waters to find it.

The one who found the cross received a special blessing.

The groups said this event commemorates Christ’s baptism by John the Baptist in the River Jordan, and the beginning of Christ’s earthly ministry.

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