FIRST LANDING STATE PARK (2500 Shore Drive, Virginia Beach VA 23451)
9:00 a.m. - Blessing and Cross Dive at Bay
What exactly is a cross dive?
The cross dive is an ancient Orthodox Christian tradition. The idea originated in Greece. There’s an enormous amount of coastline in Greece. Since they have all that water there, as a way of celebrating the Baptism of Christ, in the early centuries of Christianity, this custom started where they would take a cross, either a large metal or weighted wooden cross, and they would do a ceremony where it would be a procession to some point on a beach, dock or boat.
A priest would throw a cross into the water, and people would dive for a cross. The cross symbolically – not literally – is Jesus. So it’s commemorating Christ’s baptism, which is also the Epiphany of Jesus.
Though the Cross Dive has its Origins and Epiphany, we will utilize this tradition to celebrate the beginning of the Ecclesiastical Year.
It’s considered to be a special blessing to get the cross. Tradition says the one who emerges grasping the cross is rewarded with a year of blessings.
Who Performs the Dive: Orthodox Boys & Girls, Ages 15 to 18. Divers representing each parish will be selected by their parish GOYA. Once you are chosen please register to participate.
Who Can Come: All GOYAns and parisioners are invited to attend and support their parish divers.
How Many Dives: We will have a Girl dive and Boy dive.
How Many Kids Dive: Each church can have up to 3 Boy and 3 Girl participants representing their Church.
What Kind of Cross: We use a weighted Wooden Cross.
Safety: To ensure that safety is maintained, prior to registration all swimmers must be able to swim. Certified personnel provided. Waiver form has to be completed by the parent.
What to Wear: Divers need to bring bathing suit (girls are required to wear one-piece with bottom shorts) (boys are required to wear swimming trunks) All swimmers are required to wear cross dive event t-shirt when diving for cross) (event t-shirt to be gifted to divers). Please bring a change of clothes so you can participate in the Mission Walk following the dive. Bathrooms are onsite.
Reward: “Winners” will keep the Cross. New Crosses will be purchased each year.
Divers must register by September 25th!
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