Animals blessed at special service

Published 5:03 am Sunday, October 7, 2007

By Staff
Rain sends pets and people indoors
By MIKE VOSS, Contributing Editor
The animals didn’t seem to mind going indoors to be blessed when rain began falling Saturday morning at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Washington.
Some of the animals’ owners remarked they had been praying for rain and considered the morning shower a blessing for an area suffering from drought.
About 100 people and 50 animals participated in the church’s worship service for the blessing of animals. As rain began to fall shortly after 10 a.m., the service was moved inside the church’s fellowship hall.
The animals — many dogs, several cats and one horse — were blessed by the Revs. Kevin Johnson and Don Wiesner. Johnson is the church’s rector. Wiesner is a priest associate.
Johnson asked if anyone brought a snake to be blessed. When it became apparent no serpent was present, several people indicated audibly they were relieved by that fact.
Johnson began the service by welcoming animal owners and their animals.
Animal owners and others followed by singing “All Things Bright and Beautiful.”
Several people shared stories about why their animals are special to them. Several stories centered around the animals helping their owners through tough times such as battling cancer and other illnesses.
During a responsive reading, the animal owners acknowledged that some animals are abused and abandoned, hurt and hungry because nature can be cruel and people can be mean.
After the formal service, Johnson and Wiesner gave blessing to individual animals.