Blessings bestowed on all creatures great and small

St. George’s Anglican Church holds Blessing of the Animals service

Edmund

To some, having a pet is a blessing, so it’s fitting that once a year, local Catholic and Anglican churches provide pet owners a place to get their animals blessed.

Every October, St. George’s Anglican Church holds its Blessing of the Animals, offering a service for pet owners to honour their furry friends. The celebration coincides with St. Francis Day, which recognizes the patron saint of animals, known for his love of creatures great and small.

“He was known for seeing God very much in all people, top to bottom, but he often extended that to all of creation,” said the Rev. Austin Spry of St. Francis. “It has become a tradition in which we honour our relationships with our pets and all of creation around us.

“There’s this idea that God has created all of creation, and we as the agents of God’s love are not only called to love each other, including the poor and outcasts in the world, but also to love those in the natural order that don’t have voices and to represent them in the world.”

On Sunday, dozens of residents brought their pets – mostly dogs – to the Cadboro Bay church, but one four-legged guest didn’t quite fit the canine breed.

Edmund, a llama from Rose-N-Sun Farm in Saanich, made its way into the church, to the delight of everyone in attendance. Many brought out their iPhones to take photos as owner and trainer Marshall Rosen led Edmund before the congregation.

“He’s a regular,” said Rosen, noting Edmund has been blessed six or seven times. “We went through it the first time, and they keep asking me back.”

“We definitely see some wild and wonderful animals,” said Spry, noting the ceremony isn’t strictly for common household pets. “We’ve had Silkie chickens before clucking away in the church.”

The event is put on with support from the Pacific Animal Therapy Society, the Nana Foundation and Pets West. In return, the church collects donations for various animal shelters around town.

“It’s a way of us returning to the community some of the generosity they show us,” said Spry.

Spry said the Blessing of the Animals is well received by the community and shows there is something to the bond between people and their pets.

“I’m really impressed with the relationship people obviously have with their pets,” he said. “In many ways, it’s a way of saying thank you and blessing in return for the blessings that we receive from creation every day.”

 

jacob.zinn@saanichnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Saanich amalgamation committee holds first meeting

Saanich councillors call for a transparent process to ensure success of study

Snow not melting fast enough for some Greater Victoria residents

Resident unhappy with lack of snow removal on Mount Doug trails

‘It consumed my life’: Inside the world of gaming addiction

World Health Organization classifies gaming disorder as a mental health condition

BC Parks accepting application student ranger hiring program for its second year

48 students will get to have a summer job in the outdoors including in Goldstream Park

Head-on collision in Saanich draws attention to rural road safety

Saanich says additional road safety measures are already planned or underway

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Unplowed Roads parody song destined to be a classic

Move over Weird Al, Island elementary students on the same level

Do you live with your partner? More and more Canadians don’t

Statistics Canada shows fewer couples live together than did a decade ago

B.C. child killer denied mandatory outings from psychiatric hospital

The B.C. Review Board decision kept things status quo for Allan Schoenborn

Vancouver Island Pride Weekend coming to Mt. Washington

VIP events will be held Feb. 28 to March 3

Searchers return to avalanche-prone peak in Vancouver to look for snowshoer

North Shore Rescue, Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog teams and personnel will be on Mt. Seymour

Market volatility, mortgages loom over upcoming earnings of Canada’s big banks

Central bank interest hikes have padded the banks’ net interest margins

Hearings into SNC-Lavalin affair start today, but not with Wilson-Raybould

She has repeatedly cited solicitor-client privilege to refuse all comment

Most Read