Grace Episcopal Church Holds Blessing of the Hounds Ceremony - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Grace Episcopal Church Holds Blessing of the Hounds Ceremony

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Grace Episcopal Church in Keswick started off its Thanksgiving day by keeping up with an old tradition.  For the 83rd year in a row, the church celebrated the Blessing of the Hounds ceremony Thursday.

Hundreds gathered in front of the church as the riders of the Keswick Hunt Club assembled, and the fox hounds were blessed.

Blessing of the Hounds officiant Rev. Randy Haycock said, "It's a way for everyone to really connect with nature the animal world and hopefully today, practicing some gratitude with family and friends."

The church was one of the first in the country to have this service.  Each year one-third of the offering is dedicated to a charity serving animals and two-thirds to other charities. This year's collection will benefit the Wildlife Center of Virginia and the Charlottesville Free Clinic.

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