Blessing of the Bicycles 2012

The “Blessing of the Bicycles” is in that sweet spot of my life, mixing my attempts at sustainable transportation, my practice of community outreach and my tendency to want to make everything a ‘spiritual discipline,’ even bicycles. This is third or fourth year that Hope Central Church has blessed our bicycles, and the second year that we’ve partnered with First Baptist Church in Jamaica Plain and the Boston Cyclists Union. If you are in Boston, join us Sunday May 13 from 1-5pm with free bike repairs at 1st Baptist JP- 633 Centre St, and a bike blessing at 5:30pm at Hope Central JP 87 Seaverns Ave.  Special thanks to Equal Exchange for donating Fair Trade Bananas that we handed out to cyclists with our flier attached, and Bike Safe Boston, for sharing the Cyclist’s Bill of Rights and Accident Report that we’ll hand out. And many thanks to House for All Saints and Sinners, Denver CO for the liturgy that we adapted to Boston. Join us. 

Blessing of the Bicyclesª

Sunday May 13 2012

 A reading from the Prophet Ezekiel, the first chapter:

“The living creatures darted to and fro, like a flash of lightening…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.”

Each petition ends with “God of life,”

Please respond “Hear our prayer.”

Let us pray: Present in a world groaning under the excesses of consumption we acknowledge the inherent goodness of non-motorized human powered transportation and give thanks for the simple beauty of the bicycle. God of life, Hear our prayer.

Present in our community filled with children and adults, we pray for those learning to ride. Keep them smart, safe and visible on our neighborhood roads. God of life, Hear our prayer.

Present in a community filled with strife we pray for the victims of road rage and bike theft. We ask for the strength to forgive mean people. Forgive our impatience. God of life, Hear our prayer.

Present in a world of work we pray for those who build, repair and clean our bikes and those who rely on bicycles to earn their living.  Bless the Boston Cyclists Union and all who advocate for a more just and sustainable future. Bless those who choose to not drive to work and those for whom driving isn’t even an option. God of life, Hear our prayer.

Present in a community of beautiful diversity, we ask your protection and blessing on all who ride: pedi cabbies & weekend warriors; athletes & messengers, homeless folks & eco-warriors, old & young, biking believers & questioners and all the others who take to the Boston streets, paths, parks and hills. Keep us safe as we ride. God of life, Hear our prayer.

Let us hold moment of silence for all who have died while riding, remembering: a man with a name unknown, 58 of Attleboro killed on April 11, 2012 in Rehoboth; Cynthia Pacheco, 58, of New Bedford killed on March 21, 2012 when she was hit by a FedEx truck while riding with her husband; Justin Gonzalez 17, of Brockton, killed by an oil truck while he rode his BMX bike near his home on December 14, 2011; on the same day, Kevin M Foskett, of Peabody was killed in Florida;  graduate student Phyo N. Kyaw, 23 of Myanmar and Cambridge killed on  December 23, 2011 near MIT; Christina Genco,22 formerly of Newton, killed June 6, 2011 in Alabama when an SUV hit her as she lead 33 people on a charity cross-country bike ride. May God comfort all who mourn. God of life, Hear our prayer. AMEN

Receive this blessing with holy oil and a bit of chain lube:

God, bless these our bikes. Let all who ride be like flashes of lightening. Pour out your protection on our helmets. Take our handlebars and steer us ever true. Bless our wheels that move upon your good Creation. Anoint our brakes that we may know our limits. Fix our seat that whenever we roam, we might always return safely. Send down your Spirit with a blessing upon these bikes, that fortified by the might of your heavenly protection, these bikes may be help and aid unto all who make use of them. May our wheels rise. We send up glory, both now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

ª Liturgy adapted from The House for All Sinners and Saints, an emerging/Lutheran church in Denver CO.

Published by RevEverett

I'm a pastor in the United Church of Christ here in Boston. I serve as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches. Cycliss, seamstress, my book is "Holy Spokes: The Search for Urban Spirituality on Two Wheels." NJ by birth, MA by choice. Opinions are my own. Love abounds.

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