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The Blessing of the Animals


The Church calendar is divided into different seasons, and each season has its own set of "feast days" (or holidays) that honor various aspects of the faith. The feast of St. Francis is in honor of St. Francis, who was particularly fond of animals. The Blessing of the Animals is a service that reminds us of how God gave us dominion over the world, including animals, and that we are charged with caring for them. 

On this particular Feast Day, we read various passages in the book of Genesis followed by prayers by the priest.

Prayers included like "Most high, omnipotent good Lord, grant your people grace to renounce gladly the vanities of this world; that, following the way of blessed Francis, we may for love of you delight in your whole creation with perfectness of joy. O God, you have made us and all living things. We thank you for giving us these pets who bring us joy. As you take care of us, so also we ask your help that we might take care of those who trust us to look after them. By doing this, we share in your own love for all creation. We ask this in Jesus' name"

After that, the priest will lay hands on the various animals people brought.

"May you be blessed in the Name God, the Creator, Redeemer and of the Sustainer. May you and your animals enjoy life together and find joy with the God who created you."