On a beautiful Saturday afternoon, clergy and pet-loving parishioners of St. Mary’s gathered with those from The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and St. Angela’s Catholic Church, for a service of Blessing of the Animals at Berwick Park. We read scripture, remembering that God created all things and called them “good.” We gave thanks for our pets and for those who take care of them and all creatures. We remembered St. Francis, whose love for all creatures inspires these pet blessing services, and prayed a prayer attributed to him:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O God, grant that I 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. Amen.
Some of our furry friends appreciated the blessing with holy water more than others, but all enjoyed being together and the treats that were generously donated by Petco (Del Monte Center) and Petsmart (Sand City). Special thanks to Kimberly Brown of The Christian Church and Kate de la Fuente of St. Mary’s for helping to organize such a wonderful event.
By The Reverend Kristine Johnson
St. Mary’s by the Sea Episcopal Church