Blessing of the Bicycles St John the DivinePhoto courtesy Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine

This Saturday, May 9 at 11 a.m., Morningside HeightsCathedral of St. John the Divine is holding its 22nd Annual Blessing of the Bicycles virtually on the Cathedral’s Facebook page and website. The Blessing of the Bicycles brings in hundreds of people on everything from bicycles to scooters to unicycles to the Cathedral’s Gothic interior, typically occurring the day before New York City’s Five Borough Bicycle Tour. This year, however, the virtual Blessing of the Bicycles is focusing specifically on essential workers riding their bikes for deliveries and other tasks keeping New Yorkers safe and updated.

The ceremony was co-founded with cyclist Glen Goldstein, and in past years, cyclists would line up on both sides of the aisle while clergy prayed over them and sprinkled them with holy water. This year, in addition to blessing workers for their safety, clergy are also praising those who risk their lives daily during the COVID-19 pandemic to support fellow New Yorkers.

“This is a wonderful city to ride a bike, it’s also a very dangerous city to ride a bike,” Goldstein told CBS New York last year. “We try to watch for each other as best we can.” This year’s online ceremony will be led by The Reverend Patrick Malloy, Sub-Dean of the Cathedral and is open to everyone. Blessings will be delivered virtually to bike enthusiasts across the country. Bikers are also encouraged to send photos and messages to the Cathedral to be included in the virtual blessing.

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