This past Sunday, Alex and I participated in a Blessing of the Animals service at my church. It was a joyful and moving moment as each pet approached the altar to receive the minister’s blessing. The procession included golden retrievers, border collies, an English Shepherd, a westie in a jaunty orange bandanna, a PBGV, and of course Alex the Welsh Springer. A hamster and a cat also received the blessing.
The animals seemed to sense that this was a special moment, and all were quiet and well-behaved as the minister made the sign of the cross on each forehead. After all the animals had been blessed, a woman come forward with a photo of her pet. She joined hands with the minister, and they bowed their heads in prayer, perhaps for a beloved pet who had passed on, or was too infirm to attend. I left filled with thankfulness for the blessings that pets bestow on us each day of their lives.