A Blessing of the Animals

During a Blessing of the Animals, it is customary for members of the congregation to bring their animal companions with them to the service. If they cannot bring their animal friend with them, encourage them to bring a photo or some other meaningful item related to their animal friend.

Prelude: “Carnival of the Animals" by Camille Saint-Saens

Opening Song: “Enter, Rejoice and Come In”
(Hymn #361 in "Singing the Living Tradition")

Chalice Lighting:

As the flame is lit, sing:
Rise up, o flame, by thy light glowing
Show us beauty, vision, and joy.

Opening Words: “Come into Animal Presence”
a poem by Denise Levertov
(Published in "The Life Around Us: Selected Poems on
Ecological Themes," 1997, New Directions Publishing Corp

Meditation: Candle lighting for our animal companions no longer with us.

Song: “ All God’s Critters Have a Place in the Choir” by Bill Staines

Homily: Prepared by whoever is leading the service

Blessing the Animals: The minister/leader circulates among the congregation, stopping for each animal:

“What is this [refer to the kind of animal]’s name?”

“Bless [name]. And may [name] and those who care for her/him
be held lovingly in the hand of creation.”

Unison Closing Words:

Gracious Creator,
Hear and bless
Thy beasts and singing birds
And guard with tenderness
Small things that have no words

Closing Song: "From You I Receive" (sung three times)
(Hymn #402 in "Singing the Living Tradition")