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Priest going to Burning Man

Priest going to Burning Man

Dean of the Cathedral in Sacramento will be going to the Burning Man Festival with his daughter. He talks about what to take and what gift he will bring at his blog:

Shortly after arriving home after dropping my Captain America son off at the West Point Prep School, my amazing hippie, dread-locked, tattooed, I’m-more-of-a-Buddhist, 22 year-old daughter asked me, her 53 year old Episcopal Priest father to go with her to Burning Man.   I love the constant adventure of parenting.  And I love my daughter.  (And truth be told, part of me has always wanted to go to Burning Man.) So on Monday I will be going to the Playa so Laura and I can experience our first Burning Man together.

When my wife Andrea saw the list of things we needed to bring in order to survive, she commented that it was longer than her packing list for her deployment for Afghanistan… And there are the costumes.  Creativity is important at Burning Man.  So Laura and I went thrift-shopping.  And of course one needs a tutu for Tutu Tuesday.

But the big decision for me had to do with what I had to offer the Burning Man community.  I am not particularly artistic and I did not have a great deal of time to prepare.  I wondered in what way I could offer myself as a priest.  Laura told me to make sure I brought holy water.  That invited me to think how I could bless people.  I’ve decided to bring oil for anointing, and to use a blessing that combines words I say at the end of Mass with words I say at Baptism, anointing their eyes, ears, lips, hands, and feet as I say:




Read how he plans to give his gift here.



Image from Burning Man 2014


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Bill Simpson

I hope the Dean and his daughter have a great adventure. One word of advice for the rev: think twice if somebody offers you a gummy bears. They’re probably the special kind.

Vincent Masi

I came across this the other day. I was always wondering why I was uncomfortable with this thing.

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