Blessing of the Animals

Sunday, October 7th

3:00 pm * AUMC Picnic Shelter

On Sunday, Oct. 7, churches around the world will celebrate something that St. Francis of Assisi started almost 800 years ago: blessing our animals. It was Francis who first introduced the idea that human beings are only one of a myriad of creations of God and that all are blessed in God's "eyes." The feast day of St. Francis (the day that he died) is celebrated every year on October 4, and blessing of the animal services are usually scheduled for the Sunday closest to that day.


You are invited to bring your pet(s), to Aldersgate UMC for them to receive a blessing at 3:00 pm in the field by the picnic shelter. Those whose pets have died may bring a picture of them and we will offer a prayer of remembrance. You are encouraged to invite your friends to bring their pet(s). This will be a wonderful day of celebration and remembering. We do ask that you bring your pet(s) on a leash or in a carrier. We look forward to seeing you and celebrating our wonderful gifts from God.



 




 

 

St. Francis  

(story of the 1st animal blessing)

The first blessing of the animals happened like this: 


One warm afternoon early in his ministry (sometime between 1210-1215), Francis wandered outside of Assisi, full of self-doubt, asking God if perhaps everything he had done until that point had been for the wrong reasons. Francis wondered if he should have simply gotten married and raised a family as his father wanted him to do. It was while he was praying alone to God that Francis glimpsed some birds along the path. He paused and began to speak to them as if to equals. Soon, he began to "preach" to them about God's glories and all the reasons why both humans and birds should be grateful. This connection between St. Francis and animals is the single fact about him that most people know. He emphasized that creation includes more than humankind. He always called creatures his brothers and sisters, and he worked to further widen the fraternity to link humans and creatures in the same relationship with God.