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Blessing of the Animals


2017/11/03


Reverend Barney Gordon and Chandler Ince, granddaughter of Ann Louise and Paul Ince, with her pony Simon Says at Immanuel Episcopal Church in La Grange, TN Sunday, October 1, 2017, at the Blessing of the Animals service. (photo by Pam Wade)
Historic Immanuel Episcopal Church in LaGrange, Tennessee (circa1842), along with “Zuri Weaver” the Parish Puppy, celebrated the annual Blessing of the Animals service on Sunday October 1, 2017. The Rev. Dr. Barney Gordon officiated and blessed all the animals brought to the church. The 4 p.m. service was followed by a reception at La Grange General Store, where there were treats for the pets and hot dogs for the people.

On October 1, 2017 at 4 p.m. Saint John’s Episcopal Church, 3245 Central Avenue, Memphis, Tenn. celebrated the Blessing of the Animals. The service was held in the athletic field behind the church where the priests blessed pets of all shapes and sizes. All pets and their humans from the neighborhood were welcomed.

In Memphis, All Saints Episcopal Church, at 1508 S. White Station Road, celebrated the Blessing of the Pets on October 8, 2017, in the church’s big garden and side yard that borders on the south at Quince. In addition to the Blessing, a number of local musicians had an enjoyable music jam – the second year the church has offered live music during the Blessing.

On October 22, 2017 at Saint John’s Episcopal Church is the Feast of St. Hubert, patron saint of hunters. The church will offer a special liturgy in celebration of God’s creation and those who hunt. Hunters and their dogs are welcome to join the 10:30 a.m. service. The St. Hubert liturgy will also be used at the 8:00 a.m. service.

View photos from the Blessing of the Animals from all over the nation at: https://www.episcopalchurch.org/library/gallery/blessing-animals

The Blessing of the Animals is observed in commemoration of St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) who is the Patron Saint of animals and the environment. Generally, this special day for animals is observed on the Sunday closest to October 4. This is an ideal day to remember and celebrate all the animals that give so much value and importance to people and to the world.

Many people bring their pets to the church to be blessed on St. Francis’ feast day, as his love for animals is expressed in his Canticle of the Creatures. Francis composed The Canticle of the Creatures during the spring of 1225, in the Umbrian dialect at San Damiano.

Following is the translated text:

Most High, all-powerful, good Lord,
Yours are the praises, the glory, and the honor, and all blessing,
To You alone, Most High, do they belong,
and no human is worthy to mention Your name.
Praised be You, my Lord, with all Your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun,
Who is the day and through whom You give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor;
and bears a likeness of You, Most High One.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
in heaven You formed them clear and precious and beautiful.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Wind,
and through the air, cloudy and serene, and every kind of weather,
through whom You give sustenance to Your creatures.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water,
who is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom You light the night,
and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.
Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Mother Earth,
who sustains and governs us,
and who produces various fruit with colored flowers and herbs.


 

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