The Blessing of the Hounds is a hunting tradition that was begun in Europe by St. Hubert of Liege, who later became the patron saint of hunters. It came to this country with the colonists. Our foxhunting club has seen several interpretations of
this ancient practice, with the blessing performed by many denominations, including a shaman.
This year, our Blessing was held at the Mary Martha Chapel, which is next to Longfellow’s Wayside Inn. Although the chapel is not nearly as historic as the 300-year old inn, it is quintessentially New England and on this beautiful fall day, it glowed.
Since the blessing is really about the hounds, I focused on them. I wasn’t riding at this hunt as my daughter was rowing a the Head of the Charles regatta (another New England tradition), but at least I had the chance to be part of the festivities.
You can see how clearly the hounds’ personalities shine through.