2024 Blessing of the Athletes on Marathon Sunday

Boston, MA — As the iconic Boston Marathon approaches, Old South Church in Boston is set to host three special Marathon Sunday worship services, featuring the cherished Blessing of the Athletes and the stirring sounds of Highland Cathedral performed on bagpipe, drums, and organ. Known affectionately as the "Church of the Finish Line," Old South Church is proud to honor one of the world's oldest and most revered races.

Boston Marathon runners and their loved ones will gather at Old South Church in Boston on Sunday, April 14, 2024 to participate in these special services, held at 9am, 11am and 1pm. The grand sanctuary will be filled with athletes adorned in Marathon blue and yellow, while colorful hypnotwisters fly through the air. 

This year commemorates the 10th anniversary of the Marathon Scarf Project. In 2014 - the year after the bombing - thousands of scarves were knitted by individuals to support affected runners. At Sunday’s services, the congregation will have the opportunity to listen to the perspective of a recipient of these scarves, shedding light on the profound significance of this project.

Marathoners and all who love this race are invited to Old South Church for reflection and spiritual connection as we pause to acknowledge the dedication and perseverance of the runners. Together, we will seek divine blessings for their safety, protection from injury, and unwavering resolve.

"A marathon is a spiritual contest. But the athletes are not competing against one another. They are competing against breath, against muscle, against gravity, against the temptation to give up. As the athletes prepare to embark, we are honored to offer them a blessing for that contest of spirit," says Rev. John M. Edgerton, Senior Minister of Old South Church in Boston.

For those unable to attend in person, the event will be livestreamed at 9am and 11am at https://vimeo.com/event/4210358.

Old South Church is committed to ensuring accessibility for all attendees. The church is wheelchair accessible, with designated wheelchair bays in the pews. Additionally, a hearing loop and large print bulletins will be available for those in need.

Join us as we come together to celebrate the spirit of resilience and camaraderie that defines the Boston Marathon. Together, let us uplift and support those who embark on this extraordinary journey.