Blessing of the Animals

Blessings, joy, and a little bit of Holy chaos…

Over a weekend traditionally known for blessing humans’ furry, finned and feathered friends, St. Stephen’s will celebrate our annual Blessing of the Animals on Sunday, October 7 at the 11:15 AM worship service. Due to the forecast of inclement weather, we will be indoors in the Gathering Space for a service filled with the sounds of barking, mewing, cawing and snuffling as well as music, prayer, and Holy Eucharist. You are welcome to bring animals of all kinds!

This annual tradition is in honor of St. Francis of Assisi and is shared by churches around the world. The Episcopal Church commemorates St. Francis of Assisi, and it congregations often bless animals on the Sunday closest to the 13th-century saint’s feast day.

St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and the environment, was born in Italy around 1181/1182. Because Francis expressed his devotion to God through his love for all of God’s creation, praising all creatures as sisters and brothers under God, the custom of offering blessings of animals around or on his Feast Day grew up.