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Blessing of the Animals

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)
 

Blessing of the Animals 

Blessing of the Animals 2

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.)
 
 

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.


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. 


This is a special hymn written in honor of St Francis.  The melody is the well-known hymn Praise my Soul, the King of Heaven.           Words: © Norman Habel 1999, from Habel Hymns Volume One: Songs for Celebrating with Creation

1. Mother Earth, our mother birthing

Ev’ry creature on the land

Jesus too was flesh and breathing,

Kin to all every greening plant.

Celebrate with all creation:

God has joined the web of life.

2. Sister Air, our sister lifting

Ev’ry creature born with wing;

Jesus shared the breath of forests,

Breath that makes our spirits sing.

Celebrate with all creation:

God has joined the web of life.

3. Brother Water, brother pulsing

Deep through ev’ry vein and sea,

Jesus drank the very raindrops

For our wine and in our tea.

Celebrate with all creation:

God has joined the web of life.

4. Father Fire, our father burning

With the sacred urge to live.

Jesus’ death completes the cycle,

Bringing life beyond the grave.

Celebrate with all creation:

God has joined the web of life.




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."