Blessing of the Animals

Article Published: Sep. 20, 2012 | Modified: Oct. 8, 2012
Blessing of the Animals

The Episcopal Church of the Holy Cross in Valle Crucis will host a special Blessing of the Animals
service Oct. 7.
File photo

The Episcopal Church of the Holy Cross in Valle Crucis will celebrate the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi with a special Blessing of the Animals service at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 7, at the church’s lower parking located on N.C. 194 south.

The public is invited to bring their appropriately restrained pets and livestock to the service of blessing and prayer. In addition, attendees may bring photos or stuffed toys in lieu of their pets.

The blessing of animals has been a long-standing tradition in the Christian church since the year 1223 when St. Francis first constructed a Christmas crèche with living animals at a church in the town of Greccio, Italy.

Crèches, or nativity scenes, are now common throughout the world at Christmastime.
The Rev. R. Allan McCaslin, rector of Holy Cross, said, “Providing an opportunity to offer prayers of blessing and thanksgiving for animals is especially appropriate for towns like Valle Crucis and the surrounding communities where so many residents have pets and where farming is such an integral part of our economy.”

The blessing service lasts 20 to 30 minutes and includes Scripture reading, responsive prayers, the blessing of all animals present and a concluding prayer.

Holy Cross Episcopal Church, located a mile from Valle Crucis School at N.C. 194 south on Skiles Way in Valle Crucis (see for directions and map), is a parish of the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina, the Episcopal Church and part of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

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