On Sunday, Oct. 2, a score of the faithful and their furry friends gathered at Trinity Episcopal Church in Apalachicola for the annual Blessing of the Animals.
The service was read by Rev. Martha Harris with help from Dean Vail. They thanked God for their animal companions and asked forgiveness for the suffering humans inflict on other species.
About 20 dogs and a single cat attended. The ceremony takes place every year on the Sunday closest to the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, Oct. 4.
The service was followed by a communal dinner served on the lawn in Gorrie Square. To view a gallery of the Blessing of the Animals go to www.apalachtimes.com.
Blessing for the animals
You who created them and called them good:
bless again these creatures
who come to us as a blessing
fashioned of fur or feather or fin,
formed of flesh that breathes with your own breath,
that you have made from sheer delight,
that you have given in dazzling variety.
Bless them who curl themselves around our hearts
who twine themselves through our days
who companion us in our labor
who call us to come and play.
Bless them who will never be entirely tamed
and so remind us that you love what is wild,
that you rejoice in what lives close to the earth,
that your heart beats in the heart of these creatures
you have entrusted to our care.