Every year at my church we have my favorite service, the Blessing of the Animals. People bring their companion animals and they receive a blessing from the Priest, along with love and appreciation from the congregation.
Usually we hold the service outside, but today, due to heavy rain, it was inside the church.
The dogs are usually sociable and have a great time! The barking (and some howling, as the dogs sing along with the hymns) adds a wonderful quality we don't often have the chance to experience.
For those (like me) who don't bring their animals in person, usually because it will cause discomfort for the pet (cats especially, don't enjoy being brought out of their home environment), we can bring photos of the animals to be blessed. So that's what I did. (See photo of Kyra below.)
Animals have brought more joy into my life than most people I have known. They don't abandon you or betray your trust; they love you no matter what; they are always there.
God bless the animals!
Barbara Hartwell Percival
October 2, 2011
Blessing of the Animals
We worship this Sunday with all the creatures we love. We sing with all the birds and animals that make our lives richer because of their presence.
We ask you to join our circle and celebrate with us.
Jesus Christ, as we join in celebration with you and all creation,
We ask for your blessing, your peace, on the creatures present here that we love and on all creatures celebrating in the wild.
In the name of God, who creates all life,
In the name of Jesus Christ, who redeems all life,
And the name of the Spirit, who renews all life,
We celebrate with all in the circle of life.
May your blessing come!
Almighty God and Creator of all, You have chosen humankind for a position of special responsibility in your world; we have failed to respond in awe at Your wonders; we have misinterpreted our role of dominion and abused our power. We have caused the animal kingdom needless suffering. Forgive as as we seek anew the vision which You set before us, and as we strive to respond to Your call; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
O Lord, give us humility to thank You for the creation of animals, who can show affection which sometimes puts us to shame.
Enlarge our respect for these your creatures, of whom we are the guardians. And give us a sense of responsibility towards all your creation, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.
(Name of animal) may you be blessed in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. May you and your companion enjoy life together and find joy with the God who created you.
May the Peace of Christ be always with you.
Barbara Hartwell Percival
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