A church near our house posted a sign out front advertising its upcoming Blessing of the Animals.
My boys’ school also holds a Blessing of the Animals this time of year. It is held in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi’s love for all creatures. Francis of Assisi’s feast day is October 4, so I guess sometime that week, the school will send home a note that any student with a pet can bring it to Chapel (held outdoors that day) to be blessed with Holy Water.
The funny thing about the Blessing of the Animals is that the ones who really need God’s grace and forgiveness – like our crazy dog – cannot come respectfully into a crowd of excited children and their procession of dogs, cats, hamsters, iguanas, turtles and even snakes.
Our dog, Star, would wreak havoc on the proceedings and get herself kicked out… literally banished from the Garden. She would jump and bark and try her best to be in the middle of everything even if it meant knocking over the Pastor, the Headmaster, and a class of very cute preschoolers.
So the day they bless the animals, we will keep ours home and hope that God knows it is for the best. Maybe we can ask the Pastor to send home a vial of Holy Water with the boys, and we can douse Star with it.
Saving her, however, may require more.