Cape May’s “Blessing of the Waters” is April 1

When: Saturday, April 1 at 11 a.m.

Where: Fisherman’s Memorial

Back in 2008, the first ever Harbor Fest initiated a new tradition which held that the ceremony was to be held annually at Cape May’s Fisherman’s Memorial, located at Missouri Avenue and the Harbor. Simply called, the “Blessing of the Waters”, this ceremony was intended first and foremost to commemorate those Cape May fishermen who had lost their lives in pursuit of their chosen vocation, and whose names are thus engraved on the tablets located at the Memorial.

Secondly, the ceremony offers up prayers for a safe and successful fishing season. Conducted by local clergy, usually with the accompaniment of the Coast Guard Recruit band or sometimes simply a bugler or bagpiper, the “Blessing of the Waters” is a time for solemn reflection and remembrance. It also hopes to offer closure to those families who have lost a loved one to the sea. In addition to a brief ecumenical reading, the ceremony includes a wreath laying and playing of “Taps” by a Coast Guard bugler.

This year, the “Blessing of the Waters” commences at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 1. There is no cost to attend the ceremony, although donations to support the upkeep of the Memorial are always welcome.

Questions and input pertaining to the ceremony should be directed to Kacie Rattigan at the City of Cape May, (609) 884-9567 or