Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Barking Up the Right Tree: Animal Blessing

We held our animal blessing and pet walk today. It was a lot of fun and we raised nearly $400 for the Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter Building Fund.



We gathered with our pets in a circle and had a blessing (see the liturgy below).




We also blessed each individual animal:


"May the spirit of the Cosmic Christ be with you and your human friends. May you have a long life and a happy home. Amen."



And some of the animals blessed each other:



"I know you are who you say you are.

But regulations require that I sniff your butt."






And then we walked our pets around the church.




Blessing of the Animals
First Presbyterian Church
September 25, 2010

Gathering



Divine Spirit, we assemble with all your creatures in this circle of life.

We ask you to join our circle and celebrate with us.



In the spirit of Jesus, as we join in celebration with you and all creation,
We ask for your blessing, your peace, on the creatures present here that we love and on all creatures celebrating in the wild.

In the name of God, who creates all life,
In the spirit of Jesus Christ, who redeems all life,
and the name of the Spirit, who renews all life,
we cry with all in the circle of life:
Shalom! Salaam! Peace! May your blessing come!

Thanks and Confession

(We hold the animal we love and place our hand on its body as we give thanks).


Lord, for all the animals in the whole wide world,

We thank you, God!
Lord, for all the fun and friendship we have with animals,
We thank you, God!


Lord, for all the times we have hurt or neglected animals,
We are sorry.
Lord, for all the times we have used poisons that have harmed animals,
We are sorry.
Lord, for all the times we have destroyed the homes of animals in the forests, oceans, and fields,
We are sorry.

Absolution

In the spirit of Christ let us forgive and reconcile ourselves with all our winged, finned, and four-legged companions. In the spirit of Life let us honor and protect all the animals. May the animals of Earth be our companions in life and lead us to celebrate our place in the circle of life.
Amen! Shalom! Salaam! Peace!

Circle of Praise – A Version of Psalm 148

All dogs and cats, large and small:
Praise the Lord!
All rabbits, hamsters, and guinea pigs:
Praise the Lord!
All goldfish, guppies, and swimming creatures:
Praise the Lord!
All robins, wrens, and singing birds:
Praise the Lord!
All raccoons, squirrels, and deer:
Praise the Lord!
All horses, cows, and sheep:
Praise the Lord!
All lizards, snakes and creeping things:
Praise the Lord!
Every animal in the sky, the sea, and the forest:
Praise the Lord!

Circle of Blessing

(All worshippers with animals place a hand on the animal being held. The leader then moves to each animal, saying its name, holding a hand over the animal, and blessing it in the name of Christ who fills and heals creation).

Blessing: [Pet’s name], may the spirit of the Cosmic Christ be with you and your human friends. May you have a long life and a happy home. Amen.

Sending Out

Christ calls you to be his disciples,
to serve him with love and compassion,
to serve Earth by caring for Earth’s creatures.
Will you care for creation?
We will care for creation! We will nurture our animals! We will celebrate the circle of life with them!

Blessing

May the Spirit of God, who is above all and in all and through all,
fill you with the knowledge of God’s presence in Earth
and the presence of Christ within you.
Go in peace! Serving Christ and loving all creatures!


We go in peace, serving Christ and loving our animal kin.
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