Blessing of the Animals is Sunday

Courtesy photo

Ruby, a leopard gecko, sits on the shoulder of Ella Sanders at the 2019 Blessing of the Animals.

Fur, scales, feathers, fins …

Four legs, two legs, no legs …

Pet, companion, or farm …

All animals and critters are welcome!

Trinity Episcopal Church is host to a Blessing of the Animals at 2 p.m. Sunday in the churchyard at 224 N. A St., in Arkansas City.

“The Blessing of the Animals is a fun service. We gather with our dogs, cats and other creatures, and we thank God for each of them and all the creatures God created: bees that make it possible to have food and flowers, service dogs that do tasks that help people, farm animals that nourish us,” said Mother Kathy Swain, vicar of Trinity Episcopal Church in Ark City and Grace Episcopal Church in Winfield.

The Blessing of the Animals service is traditionally held close to Oct. 4, the day that commemorates the life of St. Francis of Assisi, who was known for his love of all of God’s creatures and creation. He cared for and ministered to the poor and the sick, and also talked to all kinds of animals and called them “my brothers” and “my sisters.”

The service includes prayers, readings and the blessing of each animal. Those who lost a pet or had one die are welcome to bring a picture and light a candle in its memory. Special prayers will be included for these, also.

“Everyone is invited to bring your pets, or even farm animals, to the service,” Swain said. “Please use leashes and carriers as appropriate for the animals’ safety.”

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