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Marathon time: Blessing of the athletes Sunday at Old South Church

Posted by Sara Brown  April 11, 2011 03:06 PM

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With little time left to train for next week's Boston Marathon, Old South Church is inviting athletes to turn to the power of prayer.

The Copley Square church, "the church of the finish line," will offer blessings for marathon competitors on Sunday, the day before the runners will (hopefully) complete their 26-mile run.

The church said all athletes are welcome Sunday to receive a blessing, "a traditional act of blessing in which we ask that the athletes be kept safe from harm or injury, exercise respect for each other, and find the stamina to endure the competition."

Five blue-and-gold banners, each about 30 feet long, will fly in front of the 135-year-old building from Wednesday, April 13, through Marathon Monday, April 18, according to the church, as "a salute to the race, to the athletes, and to the international spirit of sport."

A sixth banner, bearing a quote from the biblical prophet Isaiah: “May you run and not grow weary, walk and not faint," will hang over the entry to the church.

And on the day of the Marathon, Old South's bells will ring as the first runners turn onto Boyslton Street.

Old South, located at the corner of Boylston and Dartmoth Streets, will hold services April 17 at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Email Sara Brown at yourtownsara@gmail.com.

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