Animals are a true blessing

Published 9:50 pm Saturday, October 6, 2012

David Powell, pastor of St. Paul Episcopal Church, takes time Saturday to give attention to Selma’s four-legged furry friends. --Sarah Cook

Several four-legged Selma residents gathered on the lawn of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Saturday for their own special service, an “animal blessing.”

Pastor David Powell said he always looks forward to the Blessing of Animals and the Celebration of Creation service.

The event is one the church puts on ever year.

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“We try to have it as close to Saint Francis day as possible, which is Oct. 4,” said Powell, who brought his two dogs Wystan and Betsy. “It seemed most natural to do it on a Saturday afternoon.”

Saint Francis is associated with seeing the presence of God in creation and in God’s creatures, Powell added.

The informal service included hymn singing and prayer, which all related to animals.

“It’s kind of customary in some liturgical churches to do a blessing of the animals around this time of the year so people from the church and the community can gather and bring their companion animals and we celebrate that relationship,” Powell said.

He added, “Dogs and cats usually come but sometimes people will bring their hermit crabs, birds, we just don’t know what’s going to show up.”

Donn and Ann King of Selma, both members of St. Paul, brought their Springer Spaniels, Nelson and Sophie for the blessing and celebration ceremony.

“Us and the dogs need all the blessings we can get,” Ann said with a laugh, and added that she and her husband always try and bring their pets to the blessing each year.

The service concluded with a special prayer for the animals, who all seemed to enjoy their day out of the house.