Bishop Seraphim: winter swimming not obligatory religious ceremony
Penza, 16 January 2015. PenzaNews. Winter swimming before the celebration of the Epiphany is not directly related to the church, and no priest will ever force the members of his parish to undergo this process, Bishop Seraphim of Penza and Nizhny Lomov said during a press conference on Friday, January 16.
“This ceremony grew popular during the last few years: it never was that popular before. I must say that religious air about water springs is a relic of the Soviet past, when churches were closed, and the waters became locations of worship,” said the Bishop.
However, he added there is nothing bad if a person desides to undergo it.
“I believe a person will not catch a cold if he does with faith in his heart. However, no risk must be unjustified, and I recommend the elderly and people under the weather to refrain from it,” Bishop Seraphim stressed.
According to him, the waters in font basins will be sanctified twice: after the liturgy on the eve of the celebration, and at the same hour on the day of the Epiphany.