Olympia Reverend To Perform “Blessing Of The Toilet Paper Ceremony” March 3 To Bring Awareness To Local Hygiene Program



Submitted by YWCA of Olympia

OLYMPIA–In many religious customs, it’s not uncommon to say a blessing for the things that are dear to us. Before a meal, a prayer is said to give thanks for the food on our plates. New houses are blessed to protect its inhabitants from misfortune. Some congregations even bless pets to ensure they will be reunited with their owners in the afterlife. But one local church is blessing something that some people might consider a bit unconventional: toilet paper.

Olympia’s Good Shepherd Church is building a pyramid of donated toilet paper that will be donated to The YWCA’s Other Bank, a program that provides free personal hygiene products and cleaning supplies to thousands of low-income individuals and families in Thurston County each year. But before the stack of toilet paper is delivered to The Other Bank, The Rev. Chuck Harris will perform a blessing ceremony for the donated goods.

During the ceremony, he lays his hands on the stack of toilet paper and says a prayer. He says there’s no official blessing for toilet paper in the Bible, and he chooses a different prayer each time. Harris says the ceremony is not only a way to create awareness about the YWCA’s Other Bank program, but is also a spiritual metaphor.

“People look at toilet paper and say that’s only used for one thing,” Harris says. “I like to use the ceremony to remind us that God loves us and cares about us and even the most basic parts of our bodies.”

This year is the third year Harris will perform the ceremony.  He says it’s a church activity he looks forward to each year because it can bring a little humor into an often solemn and serious atmosphere.

“You can’t help but laugh when you see the look on peoples’ faces when they see you bless the toilet paper,” Harris says. “It’s just precious and it brings attention to The Other Bank program.”

The “Blessing of The Toilet Paper” ceremony will take place following the 8:30 a.m. service on Sunday, March 3 at the Good Shepherd Church, 1601 North St. SE, in Olympia. Anyone wishing to add to the pyramid of toilet paper can bring their donations to the church between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. seven days a week. For more information, visit the Good Shepherd Church’s website, www.gsolympia.org. For more information about The YWCA’s Other Bank, visit www.ywcaofolympia.org.

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