The history behind the Blessing of the Animals:
The first Christian Blessing of the Animals Ceremony was celebrated almost 800 years ago. It was Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) who first introduced the idea that human beings are only one of many creations of god and all creations are blessed in god’s eye. The feast day of St. Francis is celebrated on his day of death, October 4th . Blessing of the Animals Ceremonies are usually celebrated on the Sunday closest to that date.
St. Francis is the most popular Catholic Saint. He preached to the birds, blessed fish that had been caught and released them back into the water. He communicated with wolves and used real animals when he created the first live nativity scene.
St. Francis is the patron saint of the animals and the environment.
While St. Francis was the first to perform the ceremony in Christianity, Judaism , home to blessings of all kinds, may have come first.
The Jewish ceremony is often performed on the 7th day of Passover in the spring.
In October , many Jewish congregations schedule blessings of the animals after the High Holy Days centering the ceremony around Noah and the Arc. Way back then, God promised never to destroy the earth again — and both humans and animals were understandably joyful. On this occasion, animals are blessed as creatures, reminding humans how we share that essential quality with our pets.
In both the Christian ceremony performed in early October and in Jewish ceremonies later in the month, the message to those of us with animal companions is the same: take care of them as you would take care of yourself. Show gratitude; they are gifts from God.
Resting Paws is hosting a Blessing of the Animals ceremony on September 30, 2018 at Britannia Park. We will start with a BBQ around Noon, followed by the ceremony.
All pets must be on a leash or in a proper carrier.
Donations in support of the Arnprior and District Humane Society will be accepted.