It was cold-ish and overcast (but not raining) this afternoon as we assembled out on the front lawn; 50-odd people (some Lutherans, some not), and their assorted animals (dogs of all sizes, more cats than usual, and --- a koi-fish, a hamster and a GOAT). We sang, we read scripture, we prayed, and then we marched down the hall to the chapel to do the actually individual blessing.
I like that we don't make them stay out on the lawn. We let them in. They are God's creatures and they don't have to stay out on the lawn. Then can come into the holy place. (Well, the lawn is holy too, but you know what I mean.)
It was quite a kick to hear the goat bleating! And one little dog, a pomeranian, I think, totally freaked out when he met the goat. (The goat's owner said that next year, there might be a chicken!) Right before the service started, I saw one of the cats sort of slink by me as if it was trying to escape. Later, during the fellowship, the same cat sat curled in the corner of the room, keeping his own safe space.
Scout did not get to come this year. My husband had another service at the same exact time at his church. He had to play there. HOW DARE THEY?
For a brief homily, I shared a bit about Francesca and Martin from the story The Blessing of the Beasts. In case you didn't know, Francesca is a cockroach, and Martin is a skunk. Francesca, you see, would love to attend a Blessing service, but her whole family warns against it. "That's only for the cute, cuddly animals," they say....
Did I say before (I think I did) that I love that we have the animals come into the chapel? At first people were worried that the animals would somehow be a problem -- they would be messy and smelly and unclean. But you know what? We haven't have a problem.
So far, I do not have pictures. But I'll be sure to post some -- especially if I have one of the goat.