|Blessing of the animals service at Trinity Episcopal Church|
that occurred last year in Saco
St. Francis of Assisi was a 13th century Christian friar, deacon and preacher who was known for his love of animals and nature. He wrote a “Canticle of the Creatures”, an ode that includes the line, “All praise to you, Oh Lord, for all these brother and sister creatures.” He believed that human beings have a duty to protect and enjoy nature as both the stewards of creation and as creatures themselves.
Churches around the world hold Blessing of the Animals ceremonies in honor of St. Francis, one of the most famous services being the one held inside the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City where elephants, camels and other animals from the Bronx Zoo process up the aisle to receive a blessing, along with farm livestock like horses and sheep, and the pets of parishioners.
“Faith Lutheran is proud to introduce this tradition to our community as part of our observance of A Season of Creation, an annual worldwide Christian celebration of prayer and action to protect creation,” explained Pastor Jane Field. “By inviting prayer, changes in lifestyle, and advocacy, this one-month season fosters hope for our fragile earth. We’re uniting to protect all species and the glory of the Creator that they reveal. It’s work that’s urgently needed.”
The October 5 event at Hartwell Farm is open to the public and pet owners are invited to bring their creatures, great and small, to receive a special, personal blessing. Dogs must be on a leash, cats in carriers, and smaller pets in cages or aquariums. Those wishing to trailer in larger animals are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org in advance to ensure adequate parking.