The Cathedral of All Saints - St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.
A Service of the Blessing of the Sea
February 1, 2009 at 5:00 p.m.
Today we celebrate this traditional service of the Blessing of the Sea. It begins with Evening Prayer, then there is a procession to the Water Front, where the prayers are offered for the ships that ply our waters and all who sail in them; for our Navy, for those whose livelihood depends upon the sea, and for all who have perished at sea. The Blessing of the Seat follows and the floral wreath [the shape of the Cross] is placed in the water. We then return to the Cathedral for a closing service
Assembling at the Cathedral for the procession to the waterfront.
The Very Rev. Ashton J. Brooks, Dean of the Cathedral (with biretta)
The University of the Virgin Islands band leads us singing "Onward Christian Soldiers" down the streets of Charlotte Amalie
Reaching the harbor
Prayers for "The blessing of the ships which ply our waters and all who voyage therein," "For those who have gone down at sea," "For the Navy," and finally "The Blessing of the Sea," which ends:
Almighty God who rulest the raging of the sea, stretch forth thine almighty arm to bless our waters and all whose livelihood comes therefrom. Give us a grateful sense of all thy mercies and bring us to everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Preparing to place the wreath in the sea
The wreath is placed in the water
Processing back to the Cathedral with candles and flashlights, singing "The Church's One Foundation."