Weekly Worship Schedule
Blessing of the Animals Sunday, October 5 at Noon
As autumn arrives, people in various places may notice something odd. A procession of animals, everything from dogs and cats to hamsters and even horses, is led to churches for a special ceremony called the Blessing of the Animals.
This custom is conducted in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi's love for all creatures. Francis, whose feast day is October 4, loved the larks flying about his hilltop town. He and his brothers, staying in a small hovel, allowed themselves to be displaced by a donkey.
Francis wrote a Canticle of the Creatures, an ode to God's living things."All praise to you, Oh Lord, for all these brother and sister creatures." And there was testimony in the cause for St. Clare of Assisi's canonization that referred to her little cat!
That there are today more than 62 million cats in the U.S. attest to the continuing affection we have for our furry, feathered or finned friends. We've even had a cat called Socks in the White House. Other popular presidential pets range from Abraham Lincoln's Fido, to Lyndon Johnson's beagles, named Him and Her.
For single householders, a pet can be a true companion. Many people arrive home from work to find a furry friend overjoyed at their return. Many a senior has a lap filled with a purring fellow creature.
The bond between person and pet is like no other relationship, because the communication between fellow creatures is at its most basic. Eye-to-eye, a man and his dog, or a woman and her cat, are two creatures of love.
No wonder people enjoy the opportunity to take their animal companions to church for a special blessing. Church is the place where the bond of creation is celebrated.
In observance of St. Francis of Assisi Day, Fr. Jim will lead a service of Blessing of the Animals on Sunday, October 5 at Noon in Abbott Courtyard. Please plan to bring your pet for a short service and blessing.