On Thursday, June 2 at 4pm, the worshipping community of Salal and Cedar in conjunction with the Parish of Christ Church Cathedral united to host the 2022 iteration of the Blessing of the Bicycles at the diocesan Cathedral situated in the heart of downtown Vancouver. Salal and Cedar’s gathering priest, the Reverend Laurel Dykstra put together a clergy team consisting of the diocesan bishop, the Right Reverend John Stephens; Lutheran pastor, the Reverend Beth Carson-Malena; United Church minister, the Reverend Christine Boyle; deacon of Salal and Cedar, the Reverend Elizabeth Mathers; and the sanctuary party was completed with Cathedral Server’s Guild member, Dana Osborne as crucifer and liturgical assistant. Rector of Christ Church Cathedral, the Very Reverend Chris Pappas was present to welcome the congregation and Children, Youth and Families minister, Lauren Odile Pinkney was the Cathedral’s onsite representative.
Bishop Stephens presided at the liturgy including the Blessing of Bicycle Oil and other bike related items, the Reverend Boyle shared the one reading, Ezekiel 1: 15-21 and Pastor Carson-Malena was the intercessor. These three clergy were joined by the Reverend Dykstra for the blessings of bicycles, riders, bus passes and more which took place after the Dismissal. The procession in was accompanied by a recording of Queen’s 1978 song “Bicycle Race” which certainly set the tone.
Blessing of the Bicycles in the diocese has a long history, however, due to COVID the event has not been staged to this degree for a couple of years, although there have been regular annual bike blessings celebrated by Salal and Cedar and other worshipping communities during the pandemic. It was great to be able to open the Cathedral’s doors to all and that invitation was accepted by a good number of riders of all ages. Following the liturgy and the blessings, all present were invited to process outside, turn north on Burrard Street and gather by the Hellman Garden adjacent to the Cathedral’s lower level entrance for refreshments and bike care where a Celebration Station had been set-up.
A Media Release sent out by Salal and Cedar and Christ Church Cathedral generated a great deal of interest with both CBC and CTV sending cameras and operators, and host of CBC radio’s “On the Coast”, Margaret Gallagher was onsite with her bicycle. Margaret participated in the blessing and remained to speak with the Reverend Dykstra and Bishop John Stephens.
The event was a part of HUB Cycling’s Spring Go By Bike Week. May 30 - June 5