Blessing of the pets

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 10, 2004

All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all.

Each little flower that opens, each little bird that sings, he made their glowing colors, he made their tiny wings.

He gave us eyes to see them and lips that we might tell how great is God Almighty, who has made all things well.

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At the blessing of the pets on the Feast of St. Francis, these familiar and beloved verses were sung in the Clos of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. The children sang, their mothers and fathers sang, friends from other churches sang.

And listening to the song were 24 (at least) dogs of every size, breedand appearance; one cat all black and white and furry and unafraid of her canine brethren; and a gentle horse named Irene.

All the creatures, both great and small, were happy and busy

licking the hands of their owners, some of whom were great and many of whom were small, and having a wonderful time acknowledging the presence of so many friends.

In the midst of all the jumping and running about, barking and tail wagging, there was a little black dog named Bess, who wore a fancy bow-tied ribbon on her neck and a smile on her pretty face.

Such a sweet, happy little dog that most people never noticed she had only three legs. But Bess does very well without the fourth.

Each pet had a special name, given by their owners, and as the church Rector, the Rev. Polk Van Zandt knelt before each, he called the name.

So many names: Boomer, Libby, Genevieve, Gracie, and a family of bandanna-wearing canines named Sussy, Shadow, Flash and Buttercup. Even tiny Oscar, the Dachshund (at least a part of him is ) was smiling at the crowd around him.

After each received a blessing, dog biscuits were passed around, (except to Lucy the cat and Irene the horse), for each of them look to us to give them their food in due season.

The sun shone brightly over the Clos that Sunday, the sky was as blue as only an early autumn, sky can be, and a slight breeze ruffled branches of the tall trees as the Canticle of the Creatures was read to all therein assembled. The Canticle praises the Lord “with all your creatures.”

Praise is given for the Sun “who illuminates the day,” and the Moon and the stars,” shining and precious and fair;” the wind for air and clouds, clear sky and every sort of weather “by which You sustain your creatures; ” for Water, “humble and precious and pure;” and for Fire “to enlighten the night.”

And praise is given for Earth, “who nourishes and sustains us all.”

The sun sank lower, the breeze blew a little stronger, the blue of the sky began to darken, and all the creatures, both great and small made their way home.