10: October ~ Blessing of Animals

Animals are our companions on Earth, be they house pets, domesticated livestock or wild creatures. We receive much from them: comfort, protection and wonder, as well as labor, food and clothing.

So we ask God to help us remember our dependence on these creatures, great and small, and to make us wise enough to care properly for all animals: they too reveal God’s loving presence.

For this blessing, people should bring along animals or plan to gather where the animals are: barn, field, pasture or yard.

 

Opening Prayer

Let us pray: Compassionate Creator, we believe you have given the animals of the world as our companions and helpers. Help us to remember your love for all creatures, to grow in our care for all animals, and to find here signs of your presence. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Song of Praise: Psalm 148:5-7, 9-13

Response: Praise the Lord from the earth, all you creatures of God.

 

Let them praise the Lord’s name,

for he commanded and they were created;

Assigned them their station forever,

set an order that will never change.

Response: Praise the Lord from the earth, all you creatures of God.

 

Praise the Lord from the earth,

you sea monsters and all the deeps of the sea;

Mountains and all hills,

fruit trees and all cedars;

Animals wild and tame,

creatures that crawl and birds that fly.

Response: Praise the Lord from the earth, all you creatures of God.

 

Kings of the earth and all peoples,

princes and all who govern on earth;

Young men and women too,

old and young alike.

Let them all praise the Lord’s name,

for his name alone is exalted;

His majesty is above earth and heaven.

Response: Praise the Lord from the earth, all you creatures of God.

 

Reading: Genesis 1:20-26, 28, 31

Then God said: Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures, and on the earth let birds fly beneath the dome of the sky. God created the great sea monsters and all kinds of crawling living creatures with which the water teems, and all kinds of winged birds. God saw that it was good, and God blessed them, saying: Be fertile, multiply, and fill the water of the seas; and let the birds multiply on the earth. Evening came, and morning followed—the fifth day.

Then God said: Let the earth bring forth every kind of living creature: tame animals, crawling things, and every kind of wild animal. And so it happened: God made every kind of wild animal, every kind of tame animal, and every kind of thing that crawls on the ground. God saw that it was good.

Then God said: Let us make human beings in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the tame animals, all the wild animals, and all the creatures that crawl on the earth.

God blessed them and God said to them: Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that crawl on the earth. God looked at everything he had made, and found it very good. Evening came, and morning followed—the sixth day.

 

Selective Readings from Scriptures

 

Job 12:7-10

But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.

 

Ecclesiastes 3:18-21

I said in my heart with regard to the children of man that God is testing them that they may see that they themselves are but beasts. For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity. All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return. Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth?

 

Matthew 6:26

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

 

Revelation 5:13

And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

 

Silent Reflection, or invite sharing of thoughts

 

Closing Blessing

(All are invited to gather around the animals to be blessed.)

Blessed are you, Lord our God, for you have made all things well. You have given us innocent companions on our life journey, animals wild and tame. They are wonderful in all their variety of shapes, sizes and abilities. We marvel at their beauty, which draws us closer to You who made them.

Keep them thriving and able to carry out what Your law intends for them. Let us never see them as only for trade or profit, but always as creatures of Your wisdom. Bless these animals with us now and all the creatures throughout Your good earth. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.