The animals came in two by two…“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord,” is how Psalm 98 puts it. At the Christ Episcopal Church in Woodbury on Oct. 5, that direction was taken very literally.
By: Amber Kispert-Smith, Woodbury Bulletin
“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord,” is how Psalm 98 puts it.
At the Christ Episcopal Church in Woodbury on Oct. 5, that direction was taken very literally.
Amid the barking and meowing of dogs and cats, the morning services unfolded Sunday.
It was the blessing of the animals service, held annually for about four years now.
“The background [to the service] is St. Francis of Assisi and his honoring of the animals and the blessing of the creatures,” said Dana Strande, the parish life minister at Christ Episcopal Church. “It’s in that spirit that we celebrate that.”
She added that during the earlier, 8:30 a.m. service, one of the dogs had “got away during communion,” but that the situation was swiftly brought under control.
As well as the living, breathing pets who were brought along, children were invited to bring along stuffed animals, too, so no one was left out.
“We’ve had turtles and snakes and gerbils as well as kittens and lots of dogs in the past,” added Strande.
“The puppies bark and the cars meow and the turtles dance. We haven’t ever had any dog fights or anything like that; everyone seems to be very well-behaved because it’s no one’s territory.
“The church is neutral ground and it’s a sacred space.”
While the humans enjoyed coffee after the church service, the four-legged enjoyed their own special treats.