Sunday, October 2, 2011

Blessing of the Animals Worship Service: Faith UCC on Tuesday, October 4th, at 7:00 PM

Everyone is invited to join members and friends of Faith United Church of Christ on Tuesday, October 4, 2011, for a "Blessing of Pets" worship experience. We will gather in the church yard (weather permitting) at 7:00 PM and proceed into the worship area from there. Scriptures, prayers, and songs will lead us into the blessing of pets and owners.

Invite your neighbors, families, and friends! Oh, and don't forget their pets as well!  Faith United Church of Christ is located at 1609 Deforest Avenue in Iowa City.

Speaking of animal blessing ceremonies, check out Kittredge Cherry's "Jesus in Love" blog.  Her most recent post addresses the Feast of St. Francis, patron saint of animals.  It also includes her own animal blessing prayer, which was published in Equal Rites: Lesbian and Gay Worship, Ceremonies, and Celebrations.  I love how Kitt offers fresh descriptions to describe religious and cultural events and individuals.  Her summary of animal blessing ceremonies and St. Francis of Assisi is a great example of her unique perspective:
Animals are important in the lives of many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and queer people and our allies. Dogs and cats often become family members. St. Francis of Assisi was an animal-loving saint who talked with birds, befriended wolves and called all animals “brother” and “sister.”
Kitt's correct.  Too often, GLBT people find ourselves separated from our families of origin.  It's better than it used to be, but it is still difficult for too many.  Our pets become our surrogate children, our surrogate confidants, and our lifelong companions.  This isn't to say that animal blessing ceremonies don't hold special meaning for all pet owners, GLBT or het.  It's just amazing to see her unique insight put into words and to have them resonate with my own heart.

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