On Sunday, September 30 at 3:00 p.m., the First Presbyterian Church of Yorktown will offer a Blessing of the Pets, remembering St. Francis of Assisi and his feast day on October 4.
The custom of blessing animals and pets in the fall of the year remembers St. Francis who was known for his love for all of earth’s creatures and celebrates God’s spirit in all living things. As a poor friar, the story goes that he and his colleagues allowed themselves to be ousted from their poor hovel by a donkey. St Francis wrote a canticle that said “All praise to you Oh Lord, for all these brother and sister creatures.” The blessing of animals reminds us to celebrate creation, and God’s message that we shall be faithful stewards of the earth.
Children and families of the church and community are invited to bring their pets and gather in the back parking lot of the church at 3:00 p.m. for the ceremony and individual blessings, led by Pastor Chip Low and his wife, Tami. Families may wish to bring a picture of a pet that is too infirm to come, or who may not be temperamentally able to attend the ceremony, or who has died in recent years and for whom the family is thankful.
By: Mark H. Linehan