The 95th Blessing of the Hounds Service Thanksgiving Morning, November 23, 2023 at 10am
Arrive early for parking
An Offering will be collected
It is customary each year at the Blessing of the Hounds for us to collect an offering to benefit local charities. This year this collection will be divided between Montanova Stables and Hope's Legacy. You may make an electronic donation at the link near the bottom of this page, noting “Blessing of the Hounds offering”. Or, you may mail a check to the church at the address also found below, made payable to “Grace Episcopal Church” and similarly noted. Thank you.
First held on November 28, 1929, Grace Episcopal Church was one of the first churches in the country to have a “Blessing of the Hounds” service–a tradition that has continued each Thanksgiving Day since.
By the late 1700’s in England, foxhunting had taken on the forms that remain today. It has been a popular sport in Virginia since colonial times, and it continues customs and traditions that are mostly English in origin. The blessing of hunting hounds is an ancient practice that today features traditions and rituals developed over the centuries. After the foxhunters, their horses and hounds, and even the foxes have been blessed, the hunt begins. All who attend “The Blessing of the Hounds” are welcome to follow across the road for a glimpse of this fascinating tradition.
We will serve cider and hot chocolate in the Parish Hall before and after the Blessing of the Hounds service. It is an exciting event and will be a great way to begin your Thanksgiving celebration!
For more information on the Blessing of the Hounds Service, see below for a video created in 2020.
The volunteer hours are 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. We want you to be able to worship, enjoy, and attend the service with family and friends, so please consider being a volunteer before the service. We are flexible. Please call the church office if you have questions: 434-293-3549.
This can be a great family event and fun time! It promises to be an exciting day and will be a wonderful way to begin your Thanksgiving celebration!
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See the church calendar for any exceptions If possible, please call ahead of visiting to confirm availability. Staff information located here
All group gatherings on church property including the cemetery must have prior approval from our office and if you do not receive approval we cannot be held responsible for any injury or damage to property that ensues and it will be considered trespassing.