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Animal Companionship Responsivie Blessing
Animal Companionship Responsive Blessing
Responsive Reading

Leader: Ours is a world alive and aloud with the presence of creatures and critters. Animals abound, interwoven in our human lives and wholly independent. This is the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

People: We give thanks for animal companionship in our lives and on this earth.

Leader: Some of us have known animals who have saved our very lives. Sometimes, this is metaphor; sometimes, it is literal fact. For so many of us, we are better human animals because we have known animal animals as part of our story.

People: We give thanks for animal companionship in our lives and on this earth.

Leader: Animals are not only cuddly and cute, companions of solace and delight. Animals are deeply wild, with the capacity to defend and to kill, even the ones we have pronounced tamed. Let us always show forms of proper respect for this wild way.

People: We give thanks for animal companionship in our lives and on this earth.

Leader: There is the painful reality that some animals suffer needlessly at our hands. There are animals who encounter human cruelty – left hungry or maltreated, used for mean-spirited profit, habitat stolen and built upon without regard for our shared mutual existence. Let us do what we can to be able to give thanks for animals without hypocrisy or heartless dominance.

People: We give thanks for animal companionship in our lives and on this earth.

Leader: There are animals in our daily lives whose labor makes our own lives easier, safer, more accessible. Animals who lend us their fur or hair or feathers or fleece or milk or eggs that we might be sustained without their loss of life. Animals whom we raise or hunt – may it always be compassionately and with respect for the wider web, though we know this is mostly not the case – whose lives are sacrificed that some of us eat or cover our bodies. May we move ever closer to that ideal to live lightly on the earth, taking only what we must, and no more.

People: We give thanks for animal companionship in our lives and on this earth.

All: We bless all animals. We bless those we know and love; we bless those unknown to us who have benefited our lives. We bless even the ones that can harm us, affirming with humility their place in the interdependent web. We affirm the impulse for humans to live in right relation with all other animals on this earth. May we honor our best presence as part of the animal family.

About the Author

  • Karen G. Johnston is the settled minister at The Unitarian Society in East Brunswick, NJ. Before becoming a minister, she spent 20+ years as a clinical social worker. Buddhist meditation and a befriending death practices sustain her, as does her delightful dog, Vera, and a blessed abundance of other...

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