Blessing of the Fleet

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Blessing of the Fleet event logo

The Blessing of the Fleet is a tradition that began centuries ago in Mediterranean fishing communities. The practice is predominantly Catholic and a blessing from the local priest was meant to ensure a safe and bountiful season.

In most ports, the event was brought by immigrants who held strongly to their Catholic religious beliefs. The events that are part of the ritual vary by community and range from a simple ceremony to a multi-day festival including a Catholic mass, Parades, Pageantry, Dancing, Feasting and Contests.

Two bible verses used[citation needed] in Blessing of the Fleet are: Psalm 104, verses 24-31 & Psalm 107, verses 23-32. The actual blessing used at Destin, Florida, is as follows:

“Most gracious Lord, who numbered among your apostles the fishermen Peter, Andrew, James and John, we pray you to consecrate this boat to righteous work in your name. Guide the captain at her helm. So prosper her voyages that an honest living may be made. Watch over her passengers and crew and bring them to a safe return. And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be upon this vessel and all who come aboard, this day and forever. Amen”

Australia[edit]

Most states of Australia have had ports and fishing community traditions of blessing the fleet [1] [2] [3][4]

United States[edit]

See Blessing of the Fleet in the United States

The tradition of the blessing of the fleet is spread along the eastern seaboard [5][6]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Port Fairy, Victoria 1940's "Blessing the Fleet.,.". Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953) (Vic.: National Library of Australia). 14 November 1940. p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  2. ^ Queenscliff, Victoria 1950's "Fleet blessing tomorrow.". The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956) (Melbourne, Vic.: National Library of Australia). 27 December 1952. p. 5. Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  3. ^ Stanley, Tasmania 1950's "BLESSING THE FLEET.". Advocate (Burnie, Tas. : 1890 - 1954) (Burnie, Tas.: National Library of Australia). 2 February 1954. p. 2. Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  4. ^ Ulladulla, New South Wales McClelland, James; James McClelland Research (1984), A history of the mid south coast of N.S.W. : Milton-Ulladulla-Mollymook surrounding areas and the blessing of the fleet festival, James McClelland Research, ISBN 978-0-908492-38-1 
  5. ^ Wilkinson, Alec (1986-06-09), The blessing of the fleet. (Provincetown), The New Yorker (Conde Nast Publications, Inc) v62: p88(15), ISSN 0028-792X 
  6. ^ Leighton, Clare (1954), Where land meets sea : the tide line of Cape Cod, Rinehart, retrieved 20 November 2012