Blessing of the pets set for Sunday

Agnes Hapka

October 12, 2013

POINT PLEASANT —Calling all pets: big or small, furry, feathered or finned, to Christ Episcopal Church’s annual Blessing of the Pets.

Rebecca Wood, warden at the church, said that the blessing, set for tomorrow afternoon, is open to all people and their pets.

“It’s in honor of St. Francis of Assisi,” said Wood, “He said that all God’s animals are precious.”

Most commonly, Wood said, people bring dogs and cats; however, rabbits, hamsters, turtles, snakes and fish have made appearances over the years.

Wood said that the ceremony will begin at 1 p.m.

“Father Pegg will have some special prayers for the animals,” Wood said. “Then after the blessing, each will receive a certificate to show that it has been blessed.”

Wood said that she hopes to see some new faces this year.

“Some people are regular customers — they come year after year. But we always have new people, too. You don’t have to be an Episcopalian; anybody is welcome,” she added.

The service lasts about 10 minutes, Wood said, adding that pets need to be on a leash or in an appropriate container or held in the arms of their owners.

“Each pet is blessed individually as a part of the service,” Wood said.

A news release from the Episcopal Church states that animal companions have historically been popular in this country, and that their popularity seems only to increase.

“There are more 62 million cats in the U.S., and that attests to the continuing affection people feel for their furry, feathered or finned friends.

“For single householders, a pet can be a true companion. Many people arrive home from work to find a furry friend overjoyed at their return. Many a senior has a lap filled with a purring fellow creature.”

The article comments upon the unique relationship between people and their pets, adding that the bond between person and pet is like no other relationship, because the communication between fellow creatures is at its most basic.

“Eye-to-eye, a man and his dog, or a woman and her cat, are two creatures of love.No wonder people enjoy the opportunity to take their animal companions to church for a special blessing. Church is the place where the bond of creation is celebrated.”

Christ Episcopal Church located at 804 Main Street in Point Pleasant. Sunday’s blessing of the pets service is set to begin at 1 p.m.