Church blesses its furry friends
Published 5:47 pm Monday, October 12, 2009
Family pets of the Montevallo area were blessed in a special service on Oct. 4 afternoon in the tree-studded lot adjacent to the Anglican Church of The Holy Comforter in Montevallo.
The church and Father Bryan Smith offered the blessings to all pets and precious animals. Owners were cautioned, for safety’s sake, to bring only those pets that were well behaved.
“Sunday was a glorious day, even though rain fell on the blessing service,” said Smith. “Twenty pets came with their owners in tow, showing the love that we have for God’s Creation.
“Snacks for both human and animal were offered, with blessing bestowed on human and animal alike. As a man that seems to get along better with dogs than with people, I predict that the service will most certainly be offered again next year.”
The brochure publicizing the event explained that the service followed the example set by St. Francis of Assisi.
He believed that God’s redemptive plan covers all of creation, not just humans. St. Francis loved the animals — they were attracted to him and he to them.
They sought him out for protection and for food. He preached his sermons to the birds and they listened intently.
The brochure explained further that in the Bible, a blessing is depicted as a mark of God’s relationship with a person or nation.
When a person or animal is blessed, it is a sign of God’s grace upon them and that to be blessed means that the person or animal participates in God’s plans by drawing closer to Him.
The church intended the blessing as an offering of thanksgiving to God for the innumerable benefits we have in our animal friends and family. Holy Comforter acknowledged strong support from St. Andrew’s Episcopal in Montevallo.
The church’s Web site is Holycomforter.com.
Catherine Legg can be reached by e–mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.