Blessing of the Animals

Sometimes they're this happy together. Sometimes...

Sometimes they’re this happy together. Sometimes…

Trinity Church is having their First Annual Blessing of the Animals, on Sunday, October 4th at 1pm! Bring your animals, large or small, and we’ll bless them in a very short service. All animals are welcome, and if the weather is fine, we’ll be just outside the church on the lawn. In inclement weather, we’ll bring the service inside the sanctuary. If your animal doesn’t travel well, bring a picture of it!

Donations of pet food (and cash, of course!) are welcome, and will go toward Trinity’s Pet Food Pantry, which is open on the first Sunday of the month at 2pm, which includes October 4th, just one hour after the Blessing of the Animals.

Why do we bless animals?

We bless animals in honor of St. Francis of Assisi whose feast day is October 4th. St. Francis of Assisi lived in Italy in the 12th century. Having grown up in a wealthy family, he renounced his wealth and worldly possessions and lived very simply. He founded two monastic orders (the Franciscans and the Poor Clares), but he also had a special relationship with animals whom he talked with, and who seemed to listen when he told them ‘no’.

There is a story of a wolf living outside the town of Gubbio in Italy. The wolf came into the town each evening, eating some inhabitants and frightening everyone else. Francis went to speak to the animal, calling him Brother Wolf and discovered that the wolf was starving. Francis explained to Brother Wolf that his own hunger was not reason enough to eat the townspeople, their livestock, and their pets, and to terrorize them. The wolf became gentle, and Francis brokered an agreement with the town that they would feed the wolf and the wolf would be kind to them. The story tells that Brother Wolf became so gentle that he would allow the children of the town to ride on his back.

Francis did many other interesting things, and in his honor we gather today with our animals – our pets, our service animals, livestock, police dogs and horses, zoo animals and all God’s creatures and give thanks for what they do for us and for what they mean to us.

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