This coming weekend is the traditional time to bless our animals at church. This Sunday we get to take our Bonnie inside to receive the blessing.
This began as a Catholic celebration associated with St Francis of Assisi, but has become extremely popular for people of many traditions in the last few years. We are discovering more and more the benefits of pets in our lives and society so blessing them at church, in the synagogue or even in our animal oriented institutions, is not just a fun thing to do it is acknowledging their importance to both us and God.
Last year I wrote this post: God bless the animals which reflects on that and highlights some of the organizations that work with animals. I also mentioned the annual blessing of the animals at Woodland park zoo here in Seattle. In 2011, in my post A Blessing for the Animals I highlighted the work of Episcopal Relief and Development and their free resource from which the liturgy I posted was drawn.
Here are some other good resources I have found for litanies on blessing animals.
Letallcreationpraise.org lists several sermons and litany for blessing the animals
St Francis Blessing Liturgy by Rev. Robert Morrison and Rev. Richard J. Fairchild
Meet me at the corner has a good introduction to blessing of the animals for kids.
Ritualwell.org has a beautiful Jewish animal blessing
Even the humane society has published an animal blessing
And from one of my favourite comedy shows of all time –
If you have time make sure to watch this episode from The Vicar of Dibley where she blesses the animals.