A Blessing of Animals, in many congregations, witnesses to God's and the Church's love, care, and concern for creation. As we recognize our mutual interdependence with God's creatures, the Church's witness of stewardship of creation is strengthened. It is also a service with special appeal to children.
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The Blessing is best celebrated during daylight in the outdoors—in the churchyard or in a park. It may be celebrated at any time of the year, especially in early spring, or on the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, October 4. Make allowances for the arrival of larger animals such as horses and other livestock. The space may contain a table on which the Bible or musical instruments may be placed. Music is best led by instruments that work well outdoors—trumpets, accordions, drums, and guitars. Bulletins are awkward and should be used only to provide the texts of hymns to be sung.