The blessing of pets and animals is often celebrated on October 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, or on a Sunday near that date. This is also set to coincide as the culminating conclusion for the Season of Creation. Click here for a link to the American Catholic website with some more reflection on this occasion.
In the Scriptures, the act of blessing means 'the imparting of power or life.' The person performing the blessing is mediating that power from God or Christ to the person performing or the animal involved. To bless is more than an expression of goodwill and caring. To bless is to impart God's power in person! The blessing of each animal, by name, means that health, healing and life are being mediated from God for the benefit of the animal in its relationship with its human partners. Be careful not to reinforce the separation of human animals and other animals by this blessing. Instead, consider reinforcing our common kinship by blessing ALL animals--human and otherwise.
(Service from St. Paul and the Redeemer Episcopal Church, Chicago IL)
Two liturgies from the Season of Creation series (Australia)
Blessing of the Animals From Sundays and Seasons (Do not use without permission. See our Books page for more purchase information.)
Sermon: Blessing of All the Animals by David Rhoads
Blessing of the Animals for Children Description and liturgy to be done with children, on the blog from Mustard Seed Associates.
Blessing of Pets liturgy put together by Rev. Bob Morrison, St. James Episcopal Church, Lincoln, OR, and Rev. Richard Fairchild, St. Andrew's United Church, Golden, BC.
Two hymns written especially for this Sunday.
Focused on St. Francis, from Norman Habel, Mother Earth, Our Mother Birthing
Focused on animals, from Carolyn Winfrey Gilette, O God, Your Creatures Fill the Earth
A list of some more resources is available at textweek.com.
Surf the web to find the history of the Blessing of the Animals,
learn about St. Francis of Assisi, and find more examples of promotions and liturgies
used by many religions.
An additional book resource is Blessing of the Animals: A Guide to Prayers & Ceremonies Celebrating Pets & Other Creatures by Diana Guerrero. You can see more at this website, where it is described this way: "Blessing of the Animals is a mix of historical fact, fun, quirky descriptions, heartfelt sentiments, and novel ceremonies involving pets and other animals."
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