Blessing of Pets                                                  10/1/17 Epiphany, Norfolk   Leave a comment

Well, this morning we honor St. Francis with our annual “Blessing of the Pets” service –
and with a short homily. This is one of those strange Anglican Traditions. Other denominations will never understand it – and that’s o.k. It’s fun to befuddle everyone else.

We’re adding an “informal blessing” at the 8:00 service – for those pets that get “freaked out” by organ music and the hubbub of a larger service. We’ll see if that catches on.
 
By the way, St. Francis Day is actually this Wednesday, but we’re honoring it today. Some churches will be honoring it next Sunday.
 
Now, as we all know, there are “Pet People” and there are “Non Pet People.” And each will never understand the other. “Pet People” just don’t feel complete without some sort of an animal in their lives. “Non Pet People” wonder why anyone would turn over his or her house and life to a cat or dog – or both. Who wants a dog in his bed? Well – I do. I AM a “Pet Person.” Mine are not here today because Frisky is deaf and doesn’t see too well. He wouldn’t get anything out of it. I was going to bring Max, but he got arrested again for getting out and prowling the neighborhood. He wound in Doggie Jail and picked up Kennel Cough. It’s contagious, so he’s confined to quarters.
 
You see, not only are pets wonderful companions, but they’re also wonderful aggravations. I fret and stew much more over my pets than over people. Maybe that’s why they are supposed to be so healthy for us. They give us something on which to focus our concern and worry. They say we live longer, healthier lives if we have pets. And I have to admit that when I get bedded down at night with two dogs on one side of me, and two cats on the other side of me, I’m in perfect bliss. The little purrs, and the little moans of contentment – – now that makes for a good night’s sleep.
 
Actually, I think our pets remind us that we’re not the center of creation. We’re actually the care givers of creation, including the animals. In the Creation Story, God brings the animals before man to be named and given dominion over – or – better translated, “take responsibility for.” When the great flood is coming, God calls on Noah to round up pairs of animals and get them into the ark to preserve a remnant of life. And of course, we get our favorite images of shepherds taking care of the sheep, and the goats, and whatever other animals are around.
 
So, one of our “creature tasks” is to tend to our animals. And we honor that relationship today in this strange little rite, as we extend our blessing to our pets, and thank them for their gifts to us, and for taking special care of us.
 
Bless You Old Frisky, at home in your bed. And Bless You naughty Max, at home with your Kennel Cough. And Bless all of our pets and friends who care for us, as we care for them, this special day.

Amen.
 

Posted October 3, 2017 by Church of the Epiphany in Epiphany Moments

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