Rituals for the Blessing of Vehicles
By definition, a blessing is “a sacramental. It is an act, when performed by a duly qualified minister, in the name and by the authority of the Church, praying that God may look with favour on certain people and things, or dedicating them to religious service.1”
At Saint Joseph’s Oratory, the blessing of vehicles is not a new practice and likely goes back to the days when the Oratory was just a chapel. There isn’t much information on the subject, because it’s a fairly normal occurrence at a shrine. But by digging a little, we’re able to find some interesting traces.
On May 15, 1949, the Club des Bicyclistes de Montréal came to have their bicycles blessed2; an event that would turn into a tradition because in 1956, it became an annual blessing. That year, as evidenced by photos, motorcyclists were also invited, making it a gathering of several hundred cyclists.3