Bilirakis Teens to Participate in Epiphany 2013
"I had the privilege of participating in Epiphany as a young boy and am very proud my niece, Evelyn, and son, Teddy, will be carrying on the tradition this year," Congressman Gus Bilirakis told Palm Harbor Patch.
U.S. Representative Gus Bilirakis, of Palm Harbor, has special reason to look forward to the 2013 Epiphany, his son and niece will be participating in the annual Greek Orthodox celebration.
Bilirakis' press secretary Sarah Criser says the congressman is planning on attending the ceremony Sunday in Tarpon Springs.
"I had the privilege of participating in Epiphany as a young boy and am very proud my niece, Evelyn, and son, Teddy, will be carrying on the tradition this year. Epiphany is a joyous time in our family, and Sunday’s celebration will truly be a blessing," Congressman Bilirakis told Palm Harbor Patch.
Bilirakis' 18 year-old son Teddy will be one of the 48 teenage boys who will dive for the cross in the chilly waters of Spring Bayou.
The congressman's niece, Evelyn Bilirakis, 15, will serve as this year's dove bearer. The 15-year-old sophomore at Palm Harbor University High will lead the procession from St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral to Spring Bayou where she'll release a white dove as part of the traditional ceremony.
Following the dove release, Archibishop Demetrios will throw a white cross into the water. The 48 boys will try to retrieve the cross by diving from dinghies into Spring Bayou. The cross retriever will then be blessed by the Archbishop.
Evelyn Bilirakis is not the first member of her family to serve as Epiphany dove bearer. Her grandmother Evelyn was the dove bearer in 1957, according to the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral's website.
Young Evelyn Bilirakis is active in her church. She has been singing with the church choir since she was 8-years-old. At Palm Harbor University High, she is a member of the Principal's Multicultural Advisory Committee. She is the daughter of Emmanuel and Maria Bilirakis.
Tarpon Spring's annual Epiphany celebrates the baptism of Jesus Christ and is one of the larger Epiphany celebrations attracting people from all over the world.
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