Furry faith to be found at annual Blessing of the Pets

Castlegar Source
By Castlegar Source
October 1st, 2013

Who says dogs don’t go to heaven?

If you need proof, head to this year’s Blessing of the Pets on Oct. 5 at Millenium Park in Castlegar at 10 a.m.

“Everyone is welcome…..bring your dog (on leashes please), cat (maybe in a carrier if they are not leash trained), fish, pig or any other beloved pet,” said Marian Craft, lay minister at St. David’s Anglican Church, which is hosting the event.

“Animal blessing ceremonies are usually held in conjunction with the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and ecology, on or near Oct. 4,” she added. “St. Francis loved all creation and had a special place in his heart for animals. Paintings and statues of St. Francis always include animals and/or birds. He believed that all creatures are a blessing from God and should be respected and loved.

“Francis composed The Canticle of the Creatures, also sometimes called The Canticle of Brother Sun, shortly before he died in 1226, and it is often read during the service,” Craft explained.

“These blessings are often held outdoors so that larger animals can be included and hopefully the weather will cooperate,” she said. “Sometimes it is intimidating to take the pets into a church, a new and strange place for most of them, so the outdoors is more comfortable.

“We love our pets, our companion animals, our “children in fur coats” and this is a symbolic way to show that love and our thankfulness for the love we receive from them.”


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