Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Blessing of the Animals

Reverend Andy Ferguson blessing St. Bernard in honor of St. Francis

St. Bernard and owner, Blessing of the Animals, Church Street UMC
The eightieth annual World Animal Day was this past Sunday and at Church Street United Methodist Church it was celebrated with a much older tradition, the blessing of the animals, which is a tribute to St. Francis of Assisi. This downtown church has celebrates the event annually and anyone is welcome. I had a great time last year. It's something I think more people in the city would enjoy given our obvious passion for pets.
Blessing of the Animals, Church Street UMC, Knoxville

Small creatures need blessings, too.

Just a little nibble

This rat prefers the shelter of a sweater
The local event is dominated by canines, though all varieties of animals are welcome. Last year several nervous cats paced in the middle of the dogs, sticking pretty close to their owners. This year's only other species was two rats who seemed as much at home as rats might seem, nibbling on those holding them.
Blessing of the Animals, Church Street UMC, Knoxville

Blessing of the animals, Church Street, UMC, Knoxville, October 2011

Blessing of the Animals

Golden-doodle awaiting blessings
The ministers, who tend to be kind people in any case, are particularly tender in dealing with our more-than-human counterparts. As is typically the case downtown, the mixed-breeds dominated the scene, though a few pure-bred dogs mingled about with their mongrel cousins.
Brief liturgy at Blessing of the Animals, Church Street, UMC, Knoxville

Reverend Sarah Varnell, Blessing of the Animals

Andy Ferguson, Church Street, UMC, Knoxville

Darryll Rasnake, Blessing of the Animals, Church Street, UMC, Knoxville
After a very brief liturgy in the open air of the beautiful courtyard, the ministers disperse throughout the area and say a word of blessing and good wishes for each animal and animal owner. Particularly poignant this year was the story of a man whose dog is dying of cancer and is likely not going to live more than six months.
Sarah Varnell blessing a dog she loves

Blessing of the Animals, Church Street UMC, Knoxville

Blessing of the Animals, Church Street, UMC, Knoxville
Still, it was a very happy event. The animals mostly mingled agreeably with only the random bark to make a small point to their new friends. Unfortunately, as he left, a local blogger managed to step on a small participant. Nothing worse than a yelp resulted, but I have it on good authority that the blogger was pretty embarrassed. Wouldn't you hate to be that guy?


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1 Comments:

At October 4, 2011 at 1:18 PM , Blogger Andrea said...

Aww how fun! I wanted to go to this, but had work.

 

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