Sunday, July 17, 2016 - St. Mary Magdalene Parish welcomed members of the police and fire departments, as well as local EMTs to the blessing of vehicles in honor of St. Elijah. There was representation from all of our surrounding cities, including Fenton, Livingston County, and Grand Blanc Township.
After Liturgy, Fr. Gabriel led the parishioners in a prayer service for the first responders, which included intoning "memory eternal" for all of those first responders who lost their lives in our communities. The list dated all the way back to the 1870s.
The first responders who were present were anointed with oil which streams from the Tomb of Christ in Jerusalem. Prayers were also said for their safety and protection. With the series of police shootings happening in our country this past month, the first responders offered their thanks and gratitude for the prayers and support.
Fr. Gabriel, in his sermon at the Divine Liturgy, explained why the blessing of the vehicles and prayers for our first responders was so important:
"St. Elijah, who we commemorate this week, was in a similar situation as we are in today. He lived in a Godless society...one that had lost its way. Yet his humble faith allowed God to guide him, and bring light to the darkness of his time.
"In honor and memory of this glorious prophet, we will be doing our part this morning to bring God back into the forefront of our community. By blessing vehicles, we will proclaim that God is present and fills all things in this world. We will ask Him bless and strengthen our first responders, those men and women who God uses to protect our communities and our families here in this world. We will ask our Lord to send down guardian angels to not only protect them, but to protect all of us from the harm that we ourselves, in our fallen state, have brought into the world."
May God continue to bless and keep our first responders for many more blessed years in His service!