Thursday, November 03, 2011
When the living creatures moved, the wheels moved beside them;
and when the living creatures rose from the earth, the wheels rose.
Wherever the spirit would go, they went, and the wheels rose along with them;
for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.
When they moved, the others moved; when they stopped, the others stopped;
and when they rose from the earth, the wheels rose along with them;
for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. Ezekiel
By now most of you will have heard of Blessing of the Animals services held in many churches, often around the Feast of St. Francis (October 4th.) What about Blessing of the Bicycles? Yes, some congregations have begun blessing two-wheelers in services held in April or May. In the service held in a Toronto United Church earlier this year bicycles were wheeled down the aisle and sprinkled with our version of holy water and a variation of an Irish prayer:
May the road rise to meet you;
may the wind be ever at your back;
may all your journeying be joyous;
may you and your bicycle be held in God’s hand...
Some clergy have a sense of humour anointing the riders with sun block rather than oil. Toronto cyclists need all the prayerful help they can get! In New York City bicycle blessings have been around for more than a decade. In some communities the blessings coincide with Earth Sunday.
It is November but we have enjoyed some lovely weather this week so our bicycles have been wheeled out a few times for what we assume will be the last rides of the season. It is too dark in the morning so we have chosen after work instead, but with the time change this weekend that option will disappear as well. It's unfortunate because this is actually a lovely time of the year to ride.
Since we had our Ride Your Bike to Church Sunday In late September our new bike rack has looked a little...empty. I hope that in the Spring cycling can be the transportation of choice for some churchgoers.
Do any of you cycle religiously? Any thoughts on why we don't cycle more in our culture? Will you consider riding to church come Spring? Should we add a Bicycle Blessing to our special services roster?