by Douglas B. Stevenson, Director, Center for Seafarers’ Rights
New York’s Trinity Church Wall Street observed National Maritime Day with a special celebration at its principal Sunday liturgy on May 20, 2012. Maritime Day, established by Congress in 1933, recognizes the significant contributions of maritime industry workers to our nation. Trinity Church, which traces its origins to 1696, has throughout its history been closely connected to the Port of New York and the shipping industry.
The Rev. Dr. James H. Cooper, the church’s rector, reminded the congregation that, like remembering the armed services on Memorial Day, we remember the contributions and sacrifices of civilian merchant mariners on Maritime Day. Merchant mariners transport cargo on the waters of the globe and, when needed in times of war, the United States Merchant Navy has repeatedly supported our country’s military forces to deliver troops and supplies.
The Rev. Canon Anne Mallonee, Vicar at Trinity Church, dedicated the morning Eucharist to merchant mariners, symbolized by an offering of knitted scarves and hats from Trinity Knitters and Christmas at Sea knitters who meet at Trinity Church. The service included prayers for mariners and special music from the renowned Trinity Choir. I was honored to preach. In my sermon, I described how New York’s history was linked to the maritime world and how the Church has ministered to that world. You can view the service here.