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This Week’s Creature Feature ... God Blesses All His Children

Blessing of the animals draws friends furry and feathered

Companion dogs and cats were this year’s dominant species among those receiving blessings at All Hallows Parish’s traditional Blessing of the Animals. Joining them were four exotics: Moonshine, a blue-and-gold macaw; Iggy, a four-foot iguana, and two baby potbelly pigs.
    “They were all very well behaved,” said the Rev. Alistair So, rector of the historic Episcopal parish and companion to two dogs, a Siberian husky and a husky-Doberman mix.
    “Moonshine the bird talked to everybody, hollering hello — nothing bad, thankfully,” said Sandy Carr, director of the Davidsonville Wildlife Sanctuary, a refuge for orphaned wildlife and exotic pets, which brought the four exotics.
    “We took the animals to be blessed and socialized,” added Carr. “It’s good for piglets to get handled and ready for new homes.”
    Two priests, So and the Rev. Meredith Kefauver-Olsen, began the service with a general blessing complete with holy water and incense. Each animal was also blessed individually with a prayer with holy water.
    The service on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals, includes a lesson, litany, intercessions and the prayer of St. Francis, “Lord, make us instruments of your peace.”
    “The Blessing of the Animals shows that we aspire to be the responsible and benevolent custodians of God’s created world,” So wrote in the Blessing bulletin.
    “It’s one of my favorite services,” he told Bay Weekly. “Not only do we see our neighbors but we also get to meet all the different animals.”