Sunday, October 04, 2009

Blessing the Beasties


Yesterday we had our annual Blessing of the Animals at church, in honor of the Feast of St. Francis. There was a smaller numerical turnout than usual, but we got bigger animals, including a miniature donkey -- shown above with the goddaughter of some parishioners -- a mule and a horse.

I took this first picture (thanks to Gary for cropping it for me); the rest are all courtesy of Serwind Netzler, the husband of one of our priests, Sherryl. Our new part-time rector, Joe Duggan, co-blessed the animals with Sherryl.

Here's Sherryl with another of the great big critters. We've never had farm animals before, and they were a real treat. I especially appreciated the dark cross on the back of the donkey, who may be returning on Palm Sunday.

On the other hand, this year we had no birds, fish, lizards or snakes, who are usually all well represented. We missed them!

We did, however, get to pray over intrepid explorer Myrtle the Turtle, who lives with our friends Ned and Janet -- as well as a number of other turtles, both indoor and outdoor, fish and cats -- and who's a regular at the ceremony. Myrtle's surely the most blessed turtle in Northern Nevada, or possibly in the entire state. Look at her go! You can tell she's a turtle with a mission.

While nothing fazes Myrtle, Ned and Janet's cat Oscar looked considerably more uncomfortable. He was a trouper, though, and behaved admirably.

I don't bring our cats, because they'd panic and yowl, and would generally react as if they were being cursed, not blessed. Other years, I've brought photos of them to be blessed, but yesterday morning I was running late and didn't get a chance to print any out before I left the house.

Here are two adorable puppies. They were for sale, and I'd have loved to bring one of them home, but a) puppies are too much work and b) Gary intensely dislikes dogs. It was nice to have a chance to pat them, though. One was very friendly; the other was shy. I was told it was their first time outside.

It was a lovely event. I just hope we get more participants next year!

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