Blessing of the Animals – October 8th
This Saturday October 8th, many members of our extended parish community will hoof, hi-tail and crawl to our church courtyard for the annual celebration called the Blessing of the Animals. Everyone is invited to bring their pets to church for a blessing. Impawsible! You say! Yes, it is fur real! We are not kitten around; we are doing it on porpoise because it is the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. He is considered the patron saint of animals and the environment. In his memory the Church celebrates his feast day on October 4th.
We would be lion if we didn’t tell you we were concerned that there could be panda-
monium in the courtyard but it actually works out quite purrrfectly. At times, things
get a little hairy but in general the animals are well behaved and no one really has a ruff day. The service goes off as smooth as a feather. Having all the koala-fications to deal with the animals the presider is unruffled. It is pawsitively impawsible to find a sweeter collection of pets. The service starts out with an opening prayer of thanks to God for all of creation. The Scripture reading is from Genesis and proclaims the creation story. It is followed by the Lord’s Prayer. Then, with his bear hands, the presider blesses each animal with water; the symbol of life and of God’s creation. The animals are joyful throughout the service lifting up their collective voices in song causing at times the presider to get a little horse. The service ends with a final blessing for all. After the blessing a roar of app-paws rings out as animal and owner leave the barking lot. It is quite a mooooving experience.
Many people furgot last year and were really bugged they didn’t get a chance to be here. So, don’t furget! It will be Saturday, October 8th, at 4:00 p.m. in the Courtyard. Ewe should plan on being there. It will leave you feline good.
Francis recognized that animals share in the lives of people in ways that other human beings do not. Our pets are a gift from God. They become part of our lives. They bring us companionship, loyalty and unconditional love. He went so far as to call all animals his brothers and sisters. For the owners, these animals are truly a blessing. Come and have your pet blessed. Fur those that attend, they will have quite the tail to tell!