Animal Blessing Ceremonies Honor Pets, Saint Francis
Many churches are hosting animal blessing ceremonies in honor of St. Francis of Assisi. Here's how one city celebrated
10/05/2000 10:22:38 PM
The celebration of saint francis of assisi, is considered by me to be the best of every one in the Ecclesiastical Calendar. To celebrate cats, dogs and the rest of the Friends (and these are not quakers), is the apex of spirituality for all who live and care about animals. I have assisted on two ocassions and i find this date the most important in the RC Church and Anglican.
10/04/2000 11:38:03 AM
This service has nothing to do with heaven or hell or any theological questions about animals. It has to do with living human-beings who love their animals and consider them part of their family.
10/04/2000 10:27:44 AM
The article doesn't come at the subject from a very theologically sophisticated standpoint. From Paul's statement in Romans about all of creation anticipating redemption, to the tale of a mule as God's messenger, "nature" plays a vital role in the biblical narrative. Also, animals play a crucial role in many peoples' daily lives (for better or worse). What is more, the "blessing the animals" is not so much (in the mind of any priest I know) about any animals' souls/spirit, but a demonstration of God's jurisdiction & power of blessing over all of creation. (Or the Church's??) In the words of the hymn, "It is my Father's world," etc. This is not to say that from a STRICTLY pragmatic standpoint, it's a great use of time, true. In fact, there's a bit of a backlash in the Episcopal Church in particular against the service. Nonetheless, it's hard for a parish priest to not entertain the idea of a service like this for two VERY practical reasons: it attracts visitors and the kids LOVE it! :)
10/04/2000 09:46:59 AM
This animal blessing thing is simply ridiculous. Where does it say in the Bible, or ANYWHERE, for that matter, that animals are divinely accountable for their actions and require the intervention of humans to get them into Heaven? Are you stating that all non-blessed animals will spend eternity in Hell? I think the time required for this bogus blessing charade would be better spent feeding the hungry, recycling, cleaning up public parks or something else of real practical value. Come on! Maliethorn