Why Bless Our Pets?
Throughout the Church’s History, Christians have spoken God’s word of blessing for themselves, their homes, their places of worship, the land which sustains them, and the creatures which inhabit the earth. Blessings claim and hold up for us God’s promise to be with us, to dwell with us, and to keep the creation once pronounced “good” in divine care until the fulfillment of God’s work. We all rest in the heart of God, even the sparrow that falls.
Why Bless Pets in October?
October 4th is the day when the Church commemorates St. Francis of Assisi. He was one of the most celebrated religious figures in history. Born to a family of affluent Italian merchants in 1182, Francis grew up among the wealthy, but upon hearing the stories of Jesus in Scripture, he was inspired to reject his wealth and embrace a life of poverty. Francis was well known for his great love of and care for God’s creation, and he looked upon animals as his fellow sisters and brothers. Francis is known for helping the city of Gubbio when a wolf was giving them trouble. He approached the wolf, made the sign of the cross upon him, blessed him, and asked the wolf to no longer attack the sheep in the town. In return, he asked the people of the town to regularly give food to their brother the wolf. It has also been said that one day, while Francis was traveling with some friends, they happened upon a place in the road where birds filled the trees on either side. Francis told his friends to wait for him while he went to preach to his sisters the birds. The birds surrounded him to listen to him speak, and none of them flew away.
Francis believed that God created us all to live and praise God together. He taught that it was the duty of people to protect and enjoy nature as both stewards of God’s creation and as fellow creatures, ourselves.
You Are Invited
Each year in October, St. Luke’s holds a Pet Blessing out on the church grounds for any family and creature who would like to join us. This brief service includes a time of prayers and thanksgiving, words of scripture about God’s creation, and a individual blessing for each pet. This time together is always an adventure as families get to rejoice together in God’s goodness in our lives through all creatures great and small. You are welcome to join us!