What do you love about animal blessings?
What I love is gathering with people who are just so thankful for the blessings that their animals give them. Last year I was deeply moved as people brought photos of pets along, some who had died recently, and they shared how they had received many years of loyal friendship and care from them. I also love that the service is organized chaos, not too unlike creation itself, and it is a time of joy and excitement, and occasionally terror as an animal makes a mess on the carpet!
How did it start?
Blessing of Animals coincides with the Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi, the Patron Saint of Animals. It has a long history across the world. In the Anglican Parish of Hunters Hill we held our first service last year. Over 50 animals came along, with many humans accompanying them. Some people even brought pictures of their animals who could not make it, or those who have now died but were so special to them.
This year we are partnering with the WLPA at Gladesville, who have encouraged people from all different backgrounds to come and get involved, from police dogs, to Wildlife rescue services.