Do you have a dog, cat, snake, bird, goat, iguana or chinchilla that needs a little special attention from a higher power?
Don’t we all?
If you want to get your pet a little closer to God, bring it to the Blessing of Animals put on by St. Paul’s Church on the State House lawn this Saturday.
What is a blessing of animals, anyway?
“It happens once a year, and it’s a special event,” said the Rev. Cheryl Moore of St. Paul’s. “Most churches do it around Oct. 4, the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi.”
St. Francis of Assisi is often associated with patronage of animals and the natural environment, so animal blessings have gone on for hundreds of years to pay tribute to his mission and compassion.
“Traditionally, a blessing is something that a priest does or a minister or pastor which directs the care and love of God to a particular person, event or thing,” Moore said. “So it’s just like someone saying a prayer.”
Many churches around the world offer this type of blessing, but this one, being held out in public on a Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon, will be different in that anybody from the public – not just parishioners of a specific church – can drop by.
That’s not to say that St. Paul’s won’t be offering the service in church, though. The Blessing of Animals will also take place during the three weekly church services – Saturday at 4:30 p.m. and Sunday at 8 and 10 a.m.
The whole point is acknowledging that our animals are important to us.
“They’ve always been recognized as an important part of God’s creation,” Moore said. “We’re recognizing how animals are part of God’s creation and an important part of our lives.”