After the service on Sunday, October 4th, we celebrated the Feast of St. Francis with a Blessing of the Animals. Our clergy blessed dogs, cats, and all other faithful household companions on the front lawn. Clergy observed safe social distancing and offeedr a blessing for beloved household animals. During the parade of animals, Philip Keil played festive music, appropriate for the Feast of St. Francis, on our memorial bells.
About Francis of Assisi
Francis of Assisi was born in 1182 to a prosperous merchant family. His young life was spent in harmless revelry and fruitless attempts to win military glory, but encounters with beggars and lepers pricked his conscience and he decided to embrace a life of poverty. Francis renounced all material values and devoted himself to serving the poor. He established the Order of Friars Minor, a name he chose to emphasize his desire to be numbered among the “least” of God’s servants. He is also the saint most closely associated with animals; he rejoiced in the value and beauty animals bring to creation.
Of all the saints, Francis is the most popular and admired, but probably the least imitated; few have attained to his total identification with the poverty and suffering of Christ.
Blessing of the Animals 2020
A Prayer Attributed to St. Francis
From the Common Book of Prayer, page 833
Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is i dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.