Hound Blessing courtesy of Ted Neusbaum
The blessing of the hounds is as traditional in Ireland as is the sport of foxhunting. At the beginning of each hunt season, it is customary for the parish priest to come down to the Meet and give his blessing to the sport by blessing the hounds, who are the most important single aspect of the hunt. Without the hounds there would be no sport. It is the hounds who make the sport by pursuing their god-given talents……the art of chasing the fox by scent.
Please join with me now in asking Almighty God to bless the [hunt name] hounds, the horses and riders who partake of the sport, and the landowners who make this sport possible.
With truly grateful hearts, in a special way, we give You thanks Almighty God for this day of Opening Meet.
May we always be grateful for the blessings of life and together enjoy them more fully. Almighty Father we ask you to bless the horses.
Give them sure and steady foot to carry their riders safely to a rewarding day of sport.
Bless the landowners and their families, for due to their generosity we are here today. Bless their land that it may never be barren. Look after their livestock.
We pray for all who take part in this hunt. Teach us to understand that it is only through human kindness and concern for others that we are able to feel Your presence.
We ask these blessings through Jesus Christ, Your son, who lives and reigns, one God forever and ever.