Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Blessing of the Animals

Photo Source: www.smallangelstucson.org

I grew up going to an Episcopal Church. A memorable event that I cherished was the Blessing of the Animals. I thought it was the coolest thing. My mom and I would pack up all of our animals (dog, kitties, birds, turtles, mice, etc.) and would take them to the church where they would be blessed. The service was outside on the church lawn when the weather was nice and inside when it was raining. I would watch with joy as each precious creature was blessed by the priest. 

For those who have not attended an Episcopal, Catholic or Anglican Church you might not be familiar with St. Francis or the Blessing of the Animals service. The wonderful thing is that you do not have to be of any particular faith to participate in the ceremonies. All are welcome to the churches to participate in having their beloved animals blessed. It is truly a non-denominational event that is focused on the love of the animals. 

Although I have not been an active member of the Episcopal Church for many years I still participate in the Blessing of the Animals which is performed each year on October 4th (my birthday - extra bonus :-) to celebrate the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and ecology. It is a special birthday present to myself to spend that day focusing on what brings complete joy and pure love into my life - my beloved animals or as I usually call them "my precious fur babies." They are my gift. A gift of love. A gift that God gives me each and everyday that I am blessed to share my life with them.

There are many churches throughout the country that participate and celebrate the Blessing of the Animals. To find a list in your area then click here or do an online search for an Episcopal Church in your area and call them to see if they will have a Blessing of the Animals service and what date/time the service will be. If you live in the Greenville, SC area below are the churches in the area that will have the Blessing of the Animals service this year.

Christ Church Episcopal - service held on Oct. 4th @ 5:45 pm (in courtyard near fountain)
10 North Church Street
Greenville, SC 29601

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church - service held on Oct. 3rd @ 4:30 pm (in the courtyard)
1002 South Main Street
Greenville, SC 29601

The Anglican Church of St. George the Martyr - service held on Oct. 2nd @ 9am
427 Batesville Road
Simpsonville, SC 29681

If you don't have a service in your area you can still say a St. Francis, Blessing of the Animals prayer(s) and blessing(s) over your beloved pets. Click here to see a few.

Here is a great video to show you what to expect at a Blessing of the Animals service. It is Pawsitively Funtastic! :-)


Benny and Lily said...

We love this idea. We better get blessed
Benny & Lily

Chihuahua Girl said...

Yay! Ask your mommy to take some pictures if she can. Our mommy is going to take pictures and post them on our blog. She'd love to add pictures of others that have joined in the festivities as well.

As far as the blessed part - we have a feeling that you two are a blessing to everyone that you meet. Precious fur friends!

Waggy Tails and Puppy Kisses,

~ The Park Avenue Chihuahua Crew

Mr. Pip said...

We are going to a blessing on Saturday, too!

Your pal, Pip

Brandon's Bride said...

Will they all do this again this year?

Chihuahua Girl said...

Hi Brandon's Bride! Yes, they do the "Blessing of the Animals" every year in honor of St. Francis (patron saint of animals) feast day. Just check your local Episcopal Church for service times. Sometimes they will have the blessing on a weekend day if Oct. 4th falls on a week day. However, that isn't always the case. You should confirm with your local Episcopal Church to make sure. Happy St. Francis Feast Day! :-)

~ The Park Avenue Chihuahua Crew