You don’t have to be a religious person to enjoy the annual Blessing of the Animals. You just have to love pets.
Clearly, there was a lot of love on the lawn of the Presbyterian Church parish house in Morristown on Saturday.
There were no exotic entries this year–no iguanas or guinea pigs. Just an assortment of mostly well behaved pooches, receiving blessings from ministers Cynthia Alloway and John Anderson from the Presbyterian Church and Neill Tolboom from the United Methodist Church.
The brief service included a reading of A Prayer for Animals. It’s credited to Albert Schweitzer, and though he probably didn’t write it, the sentiments are worthy of repeating here:
A Prayer for Animals
Hear our humble prayer, O God, for our friends the animals,
especially for animals who are suffering;
for animals that are overworked, underfed and cruelly treated;
for all wistful creatures in captivity that beat their wings against bars;
for any that are hunted or lost or deserted or frightened or hungry;
for all that must be put death.
We entreat for them all Thy mercy and pity,
and for those who deal with them we ask a heart of compassion
and gentle hands and kindly words.
Make us, ourselves, to be true friends to animals,
and so to share the blessings of the merciful.