Blessing of the Animals – Saturday, October 3rd
Please join us for Blessing of the Animals at Holy Spirit on Saturday, October 3rd, at 4 p.m. in the Courtyard.
On October 4th, the Church celebrates the feast of St. Francis of Assisi. Francis lived in the 12th century and was a part of a wealthy merchant family. After living a very worldly life, he had a conversion and gave up all his wealth, lived a simple lifestyle and devoted his life to the poor. He had many followers in this simple lifestyle and they formed the Franciscan order. He is best known for his love of animals and nature. Today he is considered the patron saint of animals and the environment. In his memory the Church celebrates a service called the Blessing of the Animals.
At Holy Spirit, there is a Blessing of the Animals before the Saturday Mass. The service starts out with an opening prayer of thanks to God for all of creation. The Scripture reading is from Genesis and tells the creation story. It is followed by the Lord’s Prayer. Each animal is then blessed with holy water. The service ends with a final blessing for all.
Francis recognized that animals share in the lives of people in ways that other human beings do not. They become part of their lives. He went so far as to call all animals his brothers and sisters. He had an intimate and familiar relationship with all the works of creation. He wrote this prayer in praise of all of our Lord’s creation.
The Canticle of Brother Sun and Sister Moon
All praise be yours, my Lord, through all that you have made,
And first my lord Brother Sun,
Who brings the day; and light you give to us through him.
How beautiful is he, how radiant in all his splendor!
Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Moon and Stars;
In the heavens you have made them, bright
And precious and fair.
All praise be yours, My Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
And fair and stormy, all the weather’s moods,
By which you cherish all that you have made.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Water,
So useful, lowly, precious and pure.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
Through whom you brighten up the night.
How beautiful is he, how gay! Full of power and strength.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Earth, our mother,
Who feeds us in her sovereignty and produces
Various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.