Animals blessed in person at “Blessing of the Animals” on Sunday
SALISBURY, Md. – On Sunday evening, pets and their owners gathered at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church for the blessing of the animals. “They are a companion and they give us a lot of love and joy just like Jesus can give to us,” says pet owner, Laura McCarthy.
The blessing of the animals is a tradition associated with St. Francis of Assisi who we’re told was a saint during the medieval times who believed all creatures were a gift from God; and from his love for animals the day of blessings was born. “To remind us how blessed we are to have all of these creatures,” says Rev. David Michaud, St. Peter’s rector.
Rev. Michaud tells 47 ABC. he’s been doing this for almost 15 years, and has blessed everything from hedgehogs, pigs, birds, and of course dogs. McCarthy says it felt great to bless her pet in person, after doing most of the blessing through zoom. She tells us, she’s had her pet bird for 22 years.
However, animals not lucky enough to have an owner like McCarthy are also thought about during these services. “Our prayers certainly go out to all those animals that are still in shelters and pray that they find families and pray that they find homes soon,” says McCarthy.
Those with the church also tell us, the blessing of the animals is for everyone who owns a pet, regardless of what they believe in. “People are very grateful that the animals that they love are getting a special blessing and recognition,” says Rev. Michaud. McCarthy adds, “Since they’re such a part of our family as a creature of God, he’s a part of the world so having him blessed as part of my family is really important to me.”
Last year, the church had to take the blessing to the internet due to COVID-19 and they say it was successful, and hope to continue doing virtual blessings in the future.
If you want to have your pet blessed or want to learn more about the history of the service, just visit the church’s website.