On Sunday, for the first time, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Mount Arlington hosted a Blessing of the Animals service in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi. About one dozen four-legged friends, mostly dogs, attended the outdoor service accompanied by their humans. There was one cat, kept safely in a pet carrier, and a stuffed animal. The stuffed animal, a cat, was filling in for a real cat, who was safe at home.
Pastor Elizabeth Myers read a brief prayer to begin the ceremony then individually blessed each animal. Scotchy, a mixed-breed puppy, was the most exuberant, barely standing still long enough for Pastor Myers to say her blessing. Stubby, Hayley and Daisy, rescues who all live in the same home, made sure they all were blessed at the same time.
Local residents Linda and Bruce Tobey saw an announcement about the blessing last week and had planned on attending with their dogs, Daisy and Rocky. But over the course of the week they forgot about the event. Sunday they were out with their dogs and happened to walk by the church just at the right time and got to attend the blessing. The event was open to the general public as well as parishioners.
Daphney, with her human, David Kelly.
Pastor Elizabeth Myers begins the Blessing of the Animals service with a prayer.
Pastor Elizabeth Myers with Indiana and his human, Robin Lamoreaux.
Pastor Elizabeth Myers with the Hong family and their stuffed animal.
Linda and Bruce Tobey with Daisy and Rocky and Pastor Elizabeth Myers.
Pastor Elizabeth Myers, kneeling, blessing the animals.