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  • I’m pretty sure my shepherd would have flipped out … cute idea though!

  • WHAT? What kind of witchery is this now…

  • Aww. All I have to say is, the dog in the first shot looks very happy 🙂

  • The feast of St. Francis is October 4th which makes this extra ecclesiam episode just one more example of Unitarians doing whatever the hell they want.

  • I’m not religious, but I’m not sure what to think of this. Is this a fine mark of modernity, or does it show us how far we have fallen as religious people?

  • I love the blessing of the pets! What a sweet way to incorporate “the whole family,” so to speak, with a church service.

    I don’t see any reason for nay-saying, either. If you don’t believe in praying over pets, it’s just a few words, so what’s the harm?

  • They used to do this at my school. It was like recess, show and tell, and an all-school assembly rolled into one. It was also the only day I actually looked forward to going to Chapel.

  • This is, by far, one of my favorite events at All Souls. Amazingly, everyone and every creature manages to get together with minimal fuss in the pews, listen to the sermon, and even sing some hymns together (and yes, some of the dogs do “sing” along!). Rob always tells the story of St. Francis talking to the birds, and then expands upon the important lessons our pets can teach us about unconditional love. He also talks about human’s responsibility to not just our pets, but all creatures and the planet in general.

    And yes, one of the pastors blesses every animal brought to church that day; they ask the owner the pet’s name and sex, and then say a short prayer of thanksgiving for them because they bring joy to their owner’s lives.

    And no, we don’t do it so that these animals will go to “animal heaven”. We do it to show the universe we are thankful for all it’s bounty.

    Also, it is extremely fun. 🙂

  • It’s the year 2010. If anyone still believes in the power of “blessings” they ought to have their head checked.

    • would it have been OK to believe in 2009? What was the cutoff year for the value and merit of religious faith, in your opinion?

      • The Enlightenment

        • Sad. I’m not at all religious, but I can certainly see the value of faith in the comfort it gives people. Who cares if people want to bless their pets or their gardens or their fleets?

          If it helps their spirit rest at ease and gives them hope for the future, then live and let live, I say.

  • The UU’s are mostly gay and this is just what they do instead of baptizing their children.

  • I think its cute. I guess if you bless them its like wishing that they won’t get hit by a car or get some fatal pet disease, or eat something on the street that causes intestinal blockage and they subsequently die…I’m an atheist, but superstitious…and I think its ok to be a little irrational once in a while. (Bunch of jerks posting comments today.)

  • On the Feast of St Francis, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC has been known to walk an elephant down the aisle. Maybe from the Bronx Zoo? Don’t remember. They have tons of other animals too, but the elephant is the thing to see. On non-elephant years, check out the camels, llamas, and pretty much every other animal in creation.

  • Has Goblin been blessed yet?

  • It’s funny; I’m not religious, but I would totally do this. Why is that?

  • anonymouse_dianne

    Some how I doubt that the Unitarians call it a “blessing.” I’m a UU and there is even a joke about the guy who wants to get his Ferrari blessed. (The priest and the rabbi ask “what’s a Ferrari?” The UU asks “what’s a blessing?”)

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