Despite overcast weather, about 40 parishioners and their pets turned out at Resurrection Church for the annual “Blessing of the Animals” to bless and praise all of God’s creatures that inhabit the earth, the skies and the seas.
Father William Brailsford, parochial vicar, conducted the blessing with holy water, and parishioner Sally DeSavage served as lector for the 11th annual event. The popular blessing is held on the first Saturday of October to coincide with the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi on Oct. 4.
The animals in attendance at Resurrection Church were mostly pet canines and felines of all sizes, shapes and breeds — and the sounds of the “animal choir” were much louder than heard at most normal liturgies. As part of the event, some parishioners spoke about how their relationships with their pets enhanced both their spiritual and day-to-day practical lives.
The Animal Blessing has been organized annually by the Resurrection Environmental Committee since 2008.
St. Francis, the patron saint of animals and the environment, wrote the famous “Canticle of the Creatures” in about 1220 A.D., but it is still in widespread use today. In the oft-quoted lyrics, he personalizes the element of the world — calling them brother sun, sister moon, brothers wind, air and fire, and “Sister Water — so useful, lovely, precious and pure.”