January, 11 am, Chapel of Ease, St. David’s
On the third Sunday of January, Bermuda’s seafarers gather together at the Chapel of Ease in St David’s to pay their respects to their comrades lost at sea. Following the service, memorial wreaths are taken out by boat and committed to the waters of the sea.
Midshipman Dale Service
Last Saturday in February, 5.30 pm, St. Peter’s Churchyard
Midshipman Dale was one of the last US Naval casualties of the War of 1812-1815, between the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The injured young man was brought to Bermuda but despite receiving the best care the people of St George’s could offer, he died on 22 February, 1815, and a commemorative service is held annually at his grave site in the historic churchyard where he was buried.
Commemorative Service for Pilot James Darrell
April, 5 pm, St Peter’s Churchyard
Pilot Darrell, one of the first King’s Pilots in Bermuda, died 12 April, 1815 and a commemorative service is held annually at his grave site in the black cemetery on the Saturday closest to that date. Born a slave in 1749, James Darrell was instrumental in helping the Royal Navy find the channel into Murray’s anchorage as a result of which he was granted his freedom. As a free man of colour, he challenged laws that imposed new restrictions on free blacks and slaves, and also petitioned against proposals that would have led to a drop in income for King’s pilots.
Blessing of the Boats
June, 9 am, Chapel of Ease Dock, St David’s
The observance of this service is influenced by the association of St David’s Island with the fishing and pilot boat occupations and dates back to 1849 when the Chapel of Ease was consecrated. There were no bridges between Bermuda’s islands so the serving Bishop of the time was rowed to St David’s Island to bless the islanders’ boats and this tradition continues today.
Blessing of the Animals
October, Unfinished Church
Animals of all faiths are welcome. Please bring on a leash or in cage.
Christmas by Candlelight
December 24, 9 pm, St. Peter’s Church
The first Christmas Eve service took place in 1612 when the newly arrived settlers gathered together in the very small makeshift church they had cobbled together with cedar plank and palmetto thatch. Over 400 years later we celebrate Christmas Eve on the same site with a celebration of Holy Eucharist in the light of over 70 flickering candles – the candelabra a legacy of life lived before electricity.