In its first-ever Bike to Church Sunday on May 16, 42 people pedaled their way to St. Anne's Parish of Annapolis.
The bicyclists, blessed with perfect weather, came either from home or from a state Department of Natural Resources parking lot rally point in Annapolis. Some early risers, including the clergy, rode to church in time for the 8 a.m. service. The majority, preceding the 9:45 a.m. service, were greeted by a crowd of parishioners who cheered as they approached St. Anne's. Each rider, ranging in age from seven months to seven decades, wore a yellow bandanna.
The church service included a special litany and a blessing of the bicyclists. The social hour after the service was a typical bicyclist "rest stop" with oranges, bananas, cookies and bagels in addition to prizes for the riders.
The text of the litany follows.
Prayer and Blessing for Cyclists
Gracious Lord Jesus, abide with all those who ride bicycles in this community. As they experience the beauty of the countryside, surrounding rivers, pristine creeks, the expansive Chesapeake, and busy urban areas may they always ride safely. We also pray that You will visit the drivers of cars and trucks and grant them sensitivity and safe driving when near cyclists.
Leader: As cyclists experience the joy of the surrounding environment,
People: Give them thankful hearts, O Lord.
Leader: As they ride safely in rural and congested areas,
People: Protect them O Lord
Leader: Will you cyclists promise to abide by the rules of the road, and ride in a safe and
joyful manner in which Christ would be proud.
Cyclists: We will, encouraged by the grace of God.
And now, bless these cyclists and all who ride in this community with keen minds for safe riding, thankful hearts for the joyful experience, and faithful souls that know Christ is with them all the way, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.