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Celebrating a Blessing of the Animals

A mosaic of photos of a very cute dog

Sunday closest to October 4. In the Roman Catholic tradition, October 4 is the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. St. Francis (1182-1226) was a monk who founded the contemporary order of Franciscans. He was known for his vow of poverty and his special connection to animals, among many other things. Many Unitarian Universalists have picked up on the Catholic tradition of blessing animals, particularly pets, on this day. St. Francis may receive little attention at this service, but a number of congregations will bless pets at the service. Some people bring their pets to church, others bring photographs of their pets; others have their pets blessed by naming them. Some congregations celebrate this service at other, variable times of the year.

Brenda Miller offers a compelling retelling of her first experience with such a service in her essay, Blessing of the Animals (PDF, 14 pages), which can be found in her Skinner House book, Listening Against the Stone: Selected Essays.

From Tapestry of Faith Curricula

Skinner House Publications

Unitarian Universalist Perspectives

Search Words for Worship Services

Displaying 1 - 10 of 13.

Blessing

  • Blessed Are All Living Things (WorshipWeb)
    by Maureen Killoran
    Tagged as: 7th Principle (Interconnected Web), Animals, Caring, Direct Experience, Family, Generosity, Gratitude, Interdependence, Love, Nature, Relationships, Responsibility, Secular

Chalice Lighting

  • All Animals Are Our Relatives (WorshipWeb)
    by Florence Caplow
    Tagged as: 1st Principle (Worth & Dignity), 7th Principle (Interconnected Web), Animals, Direct Experience, Earth-Centered, Interdependence, Nature, Relationships, Secular

Complete Service

  • A Blessing of the Animals (WorshipWeb)
    by Katherine A Jesch
    Tagged as: 7th Principle (Interconnected Web), Animals, Direct Experience, Earth, Gratitude, Nature, Presence, Unitarian Universalism

Meditation

  • Blessing of the Animals—St. Francis Day (WorshipWeb)
    by Thomas Rhodes
    Tagged as: 7th Principle (Interconnected Web), Animals, Connections, Earth, Earth-Centered, Humility, Love, Nature, Relationships
  • Grateful for Creatures from A to Z (WorshipWeb)
    by Gary Kowalski
    Tagged as: 7th Principle (Interconnected Web), Animals, Children, Direct Experience, Earth, Environment, Nature, Secular

Music

  • You Rescued Me (WorshipWeb)
    by Jake Tidmore
    Tagged as: 7th Principle (Interconnected Web), Animals, Direct Experience, Love, Nature, Relationships, Salvation, Secular

Opening

Poetry

  • When Your Best Friend Has Four or So Legs (WorshipWeb)
    by Theresa I. Soto
    Tagged as: 7th Principle (Interconnected Web), Animals, Direct Experience, Earth-Centered, Friendship, Humanism, Relationships, Secular

Quote

  • When Life Is Sacred (WorshipWeb)
    by Albert Schweitzer
    Tagged as: 7th Principle (Interconnected Web), Animals, Connections, Earth, Humanism, Interdependence, Sacred

Reading

  • The Power of Conferring a Blessing (WorshipWeb)
    by Marilynne Robinson
    Tagged as: 1st Principle (Worth & Dignity), Animals, Awe, Calling, Christianity, Faith, Leadership, Ministry, Power, Sacred, Unitarian Universalism, Wonder