Every January our parish hosts the Service of the Outdoor Blessing of the Waters on the Portland Waterfront. This event, which is part of the overall celebration of Theophany (Epiphany), is open to the public, and anyone is welcome to attend.
Please refer to the information, below. If you have any please contact our church office.
Download the bulletin to follow along during the service.
Date and Time
Please see our parish calendar for the exact date. The service immediately follows Divine Liturgy at St. John’s. Our Sunday morning services are typically done around 11:15-11:30 am, so with transit and parking time, we could expect to leave Staging Area (see below) to begin the procession to the site at approximately 12:30 pm. The service is done in less than an hour.
There are two possible locations, depending upon the weather, size of the group, etc. The final location will be decided that day as we wait for everyone to gather in the staging area under the bridge.
One option is the pebbly beachfront of Tom McCall Park, near the RiverPlace Hotel.
Another option is the concrete porch above the river, which you can see in the foreground of this Google Street View image taken from the Hawthorne Bridge (the pebbly beach, mentioned above, is the background):
This photo shows the path leading to the beach on the left, and ultimately the hotel. The path is hard gravel and inlaid concrete, so it is not slippery, even when wet:
View of the pebbly beach from the trail above:
The start of a little path that leads down to the blessing site. This is a shallow grade and easily handled by most people, but those who elect to remain on the hard path above the site can still easily see and participate in the service:
There are two excellent parking spots nearby, all of which are inexpensive. They are all within an 5-10 min walk of the Staging Area (below), and have plenty of spots on a Sunday:
- Parking under the Hawthorne Bridge ($4.50/hr): parking can be limited here, but this is the parking place closest to the Staging Area. Check here first.
- Smart Park at 1st and Jefferson ($1.60/hr): tons of parking, easy 8 min walk to the park.
By 12:30pm we should be gathered under the Hawthorne Bridge, which is at the north end of Tom McCall Park and a mere 100′ east of the third recommended parking option. If it is raining this spot will keep us dry while we get organized. It also has the advantage of having about a dozen or more homeless people, which presents us with a nice opportunity to bring them some food and other necessities. Here’s a photo of the Staging Area under the Hawthorne Bridge, as seen from south side looking north. One of the parking spots is visible to the left:
Once organized we will then process to the beachfront site approximately 100 yards to the south.