Saturday, October 03, 2009

Bless These Pets

For much of the church (and, indeed, Christians of all sorts), today is Petmas Eve -- in no shortage of locales does tomorrow's feast of St Francis bring the annual Blessing of Animals... and those places that don't have one already might just want to start; see, it's one of those things that make the folks come out the woodwork.

Lest anyone here isn't within reach of a communal rite, the relevant prayers from the Book of Blessings may be used at home by anyone who wishes. So for all the pet-lovers among us -- and, above all, our beloved furry friends -- have at it:

[Option 1]

O God, the author and giver of every gift, animals also are part of the way you provide help for our needs and labors. We pray (through the intercession of Saint Francis) that you will make available for our use the things we need to maintain a decent human life. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Response: Amen.

[Option 2]

O God, you have done all things wisely; in your goodness you have made us in your image and given us care over other living things.

Reach out with your right hand and grant that these animals may serve our needs and that your bounty in the resources of this life may move us to seek more confidently the goal of eternal life. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Response: Amen.

...and lastly, as no Francismas would be complete without the Poverello's masterful hymn praising the works around us, away we go:

To every creature of every sort, all good wishes for a bella festa... and a buona domenica, to boot.