Presence of St. Francis
Telling stories of St. Francis of Assisi and also of God’s “peaceable kingdom,” the Rev. Ruth Morrison led her annual Blessing of the Animals on Oct. 4 in the church’s Outdoor Chapel.
The gathering of more than 40 people with their dogs, one cat and a goat was a blessing for all on a perfect fall afternoon, bringing the peaceable kingdom into a canopied corner of Cape Elizabeth’s Robinson Woods.
Participants from the church, Cape Elizabeth, and its surrounding communities listened to scripture readings, sang animal-themed hymns and prayed together, including Saint Francis’ Prayer of Peace.
The Rev. Morrison then went to each animal, asked their name, bestowed a personal blessing, and offered a edible treat.
Most participants knew of the blessing in advance, but one couple from Portland learned of the event while driving past the church after a visit to Kettle Cove. They stopped, carried their 15-year-old dog Kicha into the woods and received the blessing. They said Kicha has been recovering from cancer for the past 2 1/2 years.
In addition to the wide range of dogs who received blessings, two cats were also blessed. One, Lily, received her blessing while remaining safely inside her cat carrier. The second, Randy, remained at home, but her owner brought photos for the Rev. Morrison to bless.
While the animals received treats during the blessings, their owners were treated afterward to apple cider, ginger snap cookies baked by Rev. Morrison, herbal popcorn and even some apple pie left over from the previous night’s Public Supper.
Click here for more images of the Animal Blessing: