Blessing of Animals

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It is a tradition here at Holy Trinity to bless all animals on the Sunday nearest to the Saint's day of St Francis which is Oct 4th.  This year we will bless animals on Sunday October 2, 2016 and Oct 1, 2017 at 10:00AM outside the front doors of the church.  Bring all those you love for a blessing.


 


Saint Francis' feast day is observed on October 4.  John Paul II said that St. Francis' love and care for creation was a challenge for contemporary Catholics and a reminder "not to behave like dissident predators where nature is concerned, but to assume responsibility for it, taking all care so that everything stays healthy and integrated, so as to offer a welcoming and friendly environment even to those who succeed us." The same Pope wrote on the occasion of the World Day of Peace, January 1, 1990, the saint of Assisi "offers Christians an example of genuine and deep respect for the integrity of creation..." He went on to make the point that St Francis: "As a friend of the poor who was loved by God's creatures, Saint Francis invited all of creation – animals, plants, natural forces, even Brother Sun and Sister Moon – to give honor and praise to the Lord. The poor man of Assisi gives us striking witness that when we are at peace with God we are better able to devote ourselves to building up that peace with all creation which is inseparable from peace among all peoples."


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.


A prayer attributed to Francis of Assisi

 

 

 

Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.


Hear our prayers, O God, for our friends, the animals—especially for animals that are suffering; for all that are frightened or lost, or deserted or hungry; and for all those animals that must be put to death. We ask for them your providing care; and for those who deal with them, we ask a heart of compassion, gentle hands, and kind words. Help us to be true friends to animals, that through us they may know the blessing of the merciful; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen

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