Washington National Cathedral clergy sprinkle holy water on NCAA mascots

7 of 15 ACC mascots accept offer for formal blessing

Clergy at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., sprinkle holy water on college sports mascots ahead of the ACC Tournament at Capital One Arena.
Clergy at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., sprinkle holy water on college sports mascots ahead of the ACC Tournament at Capital One Arena. | Screengrab/YouTube/WUSA9

Clergy at the Washington National Cathedral sprinkled holy water on Atlantic Coast Conference mascots Tuesday ahead of the ACC men's basketball tournament being held March 13-15 at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.

The Episcopalian clergy invited the costumed mascots representing the 15 teams of ACC to visit the cathedral, where seven of them assembled in the nave to receive a formal blessing from Provost Jan Naylor Cope and Vicar Dana Corsello, according to Episcopal News Service.

Local CBS affiliate WUSA9 shared video of the event.

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"The ACC reached out about coming to the cathedral, and we immediately said yes," a spokesperson for the cathedral told the outlet, explaining that team mascots typically tour the ACC tournament's host city and stage publicity events at major sites.

The spokesperson said that Corsello "prayed for safety, good sportsmanship and fun at the tournament" but noted that "we were pretty clear that God doesn't play favorites."

The mascots represented Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.

"We're happy to report that the (Baptist) Demon Deacon from Wake Forest, the (Roman Catholic) Fighting Irish Leprechaun from Notre Dame and even the Blue Devil from Duke all felt right at home inside this Episcopal Cathedral," the cathedral said in a light-hearted blog post.

Reactions from users on X to the formal blessing of the mascots were mixed, with most finding it humorous and good-natured, while some saw it as flippant and sacrilegious.

"Personally, I hope the Florida State mascot got extra blessings," said local WJLA anchor and FSU alumnus John Rogers, who also reported the story. "I'm just saying that myself."

"Priestesses blessing devil mascots in the 'National Cathedral' is a sign of the times," local WMALDC radio host Vince Coglianese tweeted.

The Christian Post has contacted the National Cathedral for comment and will update this story if they respond.

Jon Brown is a reporter for The Christian Post. Send news tips to

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