St. Stephen’s will celebrate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi with its annual “blessing of the animals” service at 10 a.m. Sunday.
Weather permitting, the service will be outdoors in the church courtyard on the north side of the church. If it is too cold, the service will be moved indoors to the Parish Hall, but animals still will be welcome. The public is welcome, and people are encouraged to bring their pets of all kinds on leashes or in cages. If the pet doesn’t play well with others, bring a picture or momento of the pet so that the pet can be prayed for.
The blessing of the animals is an ancient tradition of the Christian Church. St. Paul writes in Romans 8:20-23 that all creation has been subjected to corruption so that all creation can be redeemed — God gave animals to be our companions in both sin and redemption, so we believe they can and should be blessed in Jesus’ name.