Blessing of Animals
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.
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.
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
- At 6.44 pm -0700 09/07/2000, Richard Treadwell II wrote:
>Have you ever watched the British program: "Vicar of Dibley?" One story wasIt's a wonderful and very funny episode (and, as always, slightly naughty).
>about "The Blessing of Animals" ... a great summation of how attached
>people really are to their animals.
"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