New York City Pets Get Blessings
Since 1999, St. Michael’s Church has welcomed animals into its historic sanctuary for an annual event. The sounds of cats, dogs, birds, snakes, rabbits and other pets fills the room of the large Cathedral. The event happens every year on October 1, at St. Michael but throughout the month of October, hundreds of churches across the United States will hold animal blessing services. One of the biggest nationally has been held annually since 1985 at the Episcopal Cathedral of New York’s St. John the Divine.
Thousands of people along with animals of myriad shapes, sizes and colors pack the world’s largest Gothic cathedral for a joyous and solemn religious service that celebrates all living things. A procession of animals has included camels, oxen, horses and a golden eagle. You would think with all these animals the Churches would end up with a messy situation on their hands but there has never been an accident. I guess the Church vibe makes them behave 🙂
As the Blessing starts, one by one the animals march down the center isle towards the pew. The Blessings of Holly Water has had some dogs drinking the Holly Water that was intended to be sprinkled on them. I guess they wanted to be blessed inside and out 🙂 In addition to asking blessings for beloved pets, the service also is a timely reminder that many animals in the community are not so fortunate. And for those a collection is made just for them.
I love the life experiences here in New York. I love how much they love their dogs here. It’s been quite an experience here.