Mariners Church of Detroit

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DETROIT, MICH. — The historic Mariners’ Church of Detroit will still hold its annual springtime “Blessing of the Fleet,” (aka: Blessing of the Boats) albeit with a few changes to ensure safety during the continuing pandemic.

Local boaters are invited to bring their burgees, colors, pennants and pennons to the church prior to the service to receive blessings directly.

Founded in 1842 as a place of worship for Great Lakes sailors, Mariners’ Church is now the oldest structure on the Detroit riverfront.

The tradition is considered by local boaters to signal the start of a new season.

The event includes blessing boat flags and honoring the names of people who died in Michigan’s waterways during the previous year.

Plus, a Facebook livestream event can be viewed at for all who would like to participate.

Blessing of the Boats photo courtesy of Robin Buckson, Detroit News

“We obviously wish we could have more people inside the church,” said Fr. Jeffrey Hubbard, pastor of Mariners’ Church. “But as we found with our Great Lakes Memorial Service in November, the livestreaming symbolically opens our doors and enables participation for a much larger congregation. They don’t get to experience the majesty of the church itself, but they do get to see the church, experience the service, enjoy our incredible professional choir, and receive the blessing for themselves, their boats, crews, passengers and the boating season ahead.”

Mariners Church of Detroit annual ‘Blessing of the Fleet’

What:          Blessing of the Fleet

When:         Sunday, March 10, 2024

Where:        Mariners’ Church (170 East Jefferson Ave, Detroit, MI)

Time:          11:00 a.m.

More info

Watch live here

Mariners Church of Detroit annual ‘Blessing of the Fleet’ (photo courtesy of Detroit News)
Mariners Church of Detroit annual ‘Blessing of the Fleet’

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