The 93rd Blessing of the Hounds in 2021 Thanksgiving Morning, November 25th at 10am
Arrive early for parking
Face masks are discretionary
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 The Keswick Heritage Fund and Service Dogs of Virginia (https://www.servicedogsva.org/). 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. The Episcopal Church Women 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!
2020 Blessing of the Hounds was cancelled due to the pandemic. Below is a video we created instead.
2019 Blessing of the Hounds
The ninety-first Blessing of the Hounds service was held on Thanksgivingmorning, November 28th, at 10:00 a.m. This was a beautiful fall service of worship and thanksgiving and was well-attended by the friends of Grace and the general public (approximately nine hundred people including T.V. news networks).
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 sign-up in the Parish Hall, call Alison Walden at 434.295.0551, or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
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!