The children have been looking forward to this feast day for some time now. They've been talking about our tradition for this day over the past year. Last year, since our parish's "pet blessing" was held at 7:30 pm (bedtime for our youngest kids) we did our research and found that we could hold our own blessing ceremony here on the ark. You would think, with the ark reference, that might take a considerable amount of time; however, last year we only had two cats to bless and one of them hid so we couldn't find her at the time. (Should the feast day suddenly include blessing all the children in the house, well then, the ceremony could become a little more lengthy.)
There is a little apprehension on the part of the parents this year. The cat we did manage to find and bless last year, disappeared less than a week after its blessing! So this year, we'll bless our remaining cat and lift up a special intention for St. Francis to deliver straight to Jesus-that He help our lone feline stick around a little longer.
Here is the prayer we used:
For all animals:
Blessed are you, Lord God,
maker of all living creatures.
On the fifth and sixth days of creation,
you called forth fish in the sea,
birds in the air and animals on the land.
You inspired St. Francis to call all animals
his brothers and sisters.
We ask you to bless this animal.
By the power of your love,
enable it to live according to your plan.
May we always praise you
for all your beauty in creation.
Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures! Amen.
For more information on St. Francis of Assisi, click here. For some cool e-cards for this feast day click here.