Blessing of the animals

Newcomers to St Paul’s must have been surprised on Sunday when they found the pews filled not only with people, but with pets! Other churches may welcome the animals to the outside, but not many actually bring them in to the church itself. But we do! Lots of dogs, from Great Dane down to the tiniest teacup pooch, some kitties, birds, a bearded dragon lizard, at least one rabbit, a hamster, a Siamese fighting fish, and a huge tortoise (over 40 years old) were some of those in attendance. There were surprisingly few disagreements, and at least one dog joined the congregation with a robust canine “Amen!”

After the shortened service, all repaired to the 6th Avenue courtyard where the clergy sat at a number of stations for individual blessings. It is impossible to attend this service without a smile on your face–and a healthy respect for the variety of life around us!

Here are just a few pictures (click on any picture for a closer view). Be sure to visit the Cathedral Flickr (photo) site to check out many more–you and your pet may be there!

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