At Blessing Of the Waves In Huntington Beach, a Sad Reminder

October 5, 2009

Author: Nicole Santa Cruz

Source: The Los Angeles Times,0,6469834.story?track=rss

With the sun peeking out through scattered clouds Sunday morning, hundreds of people gathered inches from Huntington Beach's waters to celebrate the ocean through song and prayer.

The Blessing of the Waves is an annual celebration that includes officials from various religions. This year organizers decided to include a more somber note: a moment of silence for victims of recent natural disasters in Southeast Asia.

"The ocean is the center of our community here," said Ryan Lilyengren, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange.

The smooth howl of a conch shell signaled the beginning of prayer on the beach, where people held their hands high and listened to the hymns of a 20-member Tongan choir.