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Prayers for Pets Offered at Blessing of Animals

All are welcome to join in the Blessing of the Animals as Trinity Episcopal Church celebrates the Feast of St. Francis on Sunday, Sept. 30, at the church, 1500 State St., Santa Barbara.

Trinity priests will be on hand for blessings from 9:15-9:45 a.m. on the church’s outdoor labyrinth. Attendees also are invited to bring their pets into the church for the 10 a.m. service.

St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals, was a friend to all creatures large and small. He is often depicted in natural settings with a bird resting gently in his palm. Churches around the world celebrate St. Francis with a blessing for animal companions.

"In honor of the Feast Day of St. Francis, a 13th century Franciscan monk, who lived a life of gratitude for the beauty and inter-connectedness of all of creation, we set aside this day to bless our animals, recognizing the love shared between pets and human companions offers us a glimpse of God's love for the entire created order," said the Rev. Laurel Johnston, associate rector, Trinity Episcopal Church.

If your dog/cat/bunny, etc. is not accustomed to being with other pets in close quarters, consider leaving your pet at home as this event is meant to be a joyous occasion for all.

An option is to bring a small amount of water for a blessing that you can sprinkle on your pet in the comfort of your home.

Pets must be on a leash or in a carrier. Bring bags for clean-up and proper disposal.

— Katrina Perez for Trinity Episcopal Church.

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