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Blessing of Animals

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  • Richard Treadwell II
    Greetings, To my mind the Blessing of Animals is more than just a cute custom. Western Christianity tends to be extremely homocentric especially in comparison
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 7, 2000
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      Greetings,
      To my mind the Blessing of Animals is more than just a cute custom.
      Western Christianity tends to be extremely homocentric especially in
      comparison with the Celtic traditions. Perhaps I'm a mystic, but think
      that until we learn to respect and honor all of God's created life we will
      be able to keep from each other's throats ... not to speak of solve
      environmental issues. Harmony with creation was part of the original Eden
      experience and Pauls speaks of the "whole of creation" groaning in
      anticipation of the coming of God's kingdom. Why not help our people open
      their eyes to God's hand all around us.
      We have held a Blessing of Animals for as long as I remember ... basically
      what Mary M. Gieseler writes of, but between services. It rains in Oregon
      ... so everyone comes inside on those occasions ... except the large hooved
      ones. In all of these years, we've only had one "accident." That when a
      dog mistook a visiting woman's pant suit for a fire hydrant ... "Blessed by
      the animals?" That stunned visitor became a pillar of our congregation
      and Director of our Soup Kitchen. She'd never had such a welcome.
      Have you ever watched the British program: "Vicar of Dilby?" One story was
      about "The Blessing of Animals" ... a great summation of how attached
      people really are to their animals. Relevance.
      Here is what we do:
      Priest: Father, you have filled the world with beauty;
      Open our eyes
      to see your hand at work in everything.
      Teach us
      to rejoice in your whole creation
      and to serve you with gladness.

      All: Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise
      for all that you have done for us.
      We thank you
      for the splendor of the whole of creation,
      for the beauty of this world,
      for the wonder of life,
      and for the mystery of love.
      We thank you
      for the blessing of family and friends,
      and for their loving care
      which surrounds us on every side;
      for the sake of your Son,
      through whom all things were made,
      Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

      (The whole company processes around the building)

      Priest: Father, you created all living things
      and gave us dominion over them:
      Grant that we may be faithful to this trust
      in the way we treat all animals,
      both wild and tame.
      Teach us
      to admire their beauty
      and to delight in their cunning;
      to respect their strength
      and to wonder at their intelligence.
      Grant that our use of them may be
      both wise and merciful.
      Of your loving kindness and mercy
      bless, keep and protect these pets of ours
      with your heavenly benediction,
      So that we may lend our voices
      to their praise of your goodness,
      which endures for ever. Amen.


      Living God, for whom no door is closed,
      no heart is locked,
      draw us beyond our doubts,
      till we see your Christ
      and touch his wounds
      where they bleed in others ... 4 Easter, New Zealand Prayer Book
    • Richard Treadwell II
      Greetings, To my mind the Blessing of Animals is more than just a cute custom. Western Christianity tends to be extremely homocentric especially in comparison
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 7, 2000
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        Greetings,
        To my mind the Blessing of Animals is more than just a cute custom.
        Western Christianity tends to be extremely homocentric especially in
        comparison with the Celtic traditions. Perhaps I'm a mystic, but think
        that until we learn to respect and honor all of God's created life we will
        be able to keep from each other's throats ... not to speak of solve
        environmental issues. Harmony with creation was part of the original Eden
        experience and Pauls speaks of the "whole of creation" groaning in
        anticipation of the coming of God's kingdom. Why not help our people open
        their eyes to God's hand all around us.
        We have held a Blessing of Animals for as long as I remember ... basically
        what Mary M. Gieseler writes of, but between services. It rains in Oregon
        ... so everyone comes inside on those occasions ... except the large hooved
        ones. In all of these years, we've only had one "accident." That when a
        dog mistook a visiting woman's pant suit for a fire hydrant ... "Blessed by
        the animals?" That stunned visitor became a pillar of our congregation
        and Director of our Soup Kitchen. She'd never had such a welcome.
        Have you ever watched the British program: "Vicar of Dilby?" One story was
        about "The Blessing of Animals" ... a great summation of how attached
        people really are to their animals.
        Here is what we do:
        Priest: Father, you have filled the world with beauty;
        Open our eyes
        to see your hand at work in everything.
        Teach us
        to rejoice in your whole creation
        and to serve you with gladness.

        All: Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise
        for all that you have done for us.
        We thank you
        for the splendor of the whole of creation,
        for the beauty of this world,
        for the wonder of life,
        and for the mystery of love.
        We thank you
        for the blessing of family and friends,
        and for their loving care
        which surrounds us on every side;
        for the sake of your Son,
        through whom all things were made,
        Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

        (The whole company processes around the building)

        Priest: Father, you created all living things
        and gave us dominion over them:
        Grant that we may be faithful to this trust
        in the way we treat all animals,
        both wild and tame.
        Teach us
        to admire their beauty
        and to delight in their cunning;
        to respect their strength
        and to wonder at their intelligence.
        Grant that our use of them may be
        both wise and merciful.
        Of your loving kindness and mercy
        bless, keep and protect these pets of ours
        with your heavenly benediction,
        So that we may lend our voices
        to their praise of your goodness,
        which endures for ever. Amen.


        Living God, for whom no door is closed,
        no heart is locked,
        draw us beyond our doubts,
        till we see your Christ
        and touch his wounds
        where they bleed in others ... 4 Easter, New Zealand Prayer Book
      • Scott Knitter
        ... It s a wonderful and very funny episode (and, as always, slightly naughty). We pray today for the Royal Family s animals and pets: for the Queen s
        Message 3 of 3 , Sep 7, 2000
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          At 6.44 pm -0700 09/07/2000, Richard Treadwell II wrote:
          >Have you ever watched the British program: "Vicar of Dibley?" One story was
          >about "The Blessing of Animals" ... a great summation of how attached
          >people really are to their animals.

          It's a wonderful and very funny episode (and, as always, slightly naughty).

          "We pray today for the Royal Family's animals and pets: for the
          Queen's corgis; Princess Anne's horses; and for anything that gets
          sat on by the Duchess of York."
          --
          Scott Robert Knitter <knitter@...> East Lansing, Michigan USA
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