WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Members of the Saint Benedict Orthodox Church blessed the water over at Lake Wichita Sunday afternoon.

The blessing ceremony is an ancient custom in the Orthodox Christian faith that marks this time of the year as a time to pray over local bodies of water and to ask God to sanctify the environment and grant healing to his people.

Father Peter Kavanaugh says it’s important to take the time to stop and pray over the everyday worldly gifts that God has given us.

“We’re so excited to be here because we take to heart the importance of the earth that God has given us. He’s given us such a beautiful planet and with such wonders and so much to appreciate and this is our opportunity in a small way to come and give thanks for all this beauty around us,” Kavanaugh said.

Members of the parish like Deacon Moses also say it’s important to remember that the earth is a gift from God and the way people treat the earth is part of their worship.

“We don’t think about them very much. we just think about it’s a tree, it’s air, it’s water, it’s dirt, and these are common things, but when we read the holy scriptures, we see that it was the common things that Jesus, by his touch and his blessings, transformed,” Deacon Moses said.

The prayer was not only to bless the lake but to also bless our community and our country as a whole so that God l fill the waters and everything that’s a part of our lives.