Dozens of pets were brought forward by their owners last Sunday at St. Richard’s, making the blessing of the animals on the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi one of the best ever at the Winter Park church.
St. Richard’s rector, the Rev. Alison Harrity, said 150 people sat in the breezeway at the church, with probably 50 dogs and cats, and even four turtles for a laying-on-of-the-hands blessing. The blessing was part of a full Book of Common Prayer liturgy, using the readings for St. Francis Feast Day, Harrity said.
“At the distribution of communion, everyone was invited to come forward for communion and then to go
directly into the Memorial Garden where the clergy laid hands on the animals, prayed for them by name
and gave them a St. Francis medal,” Harrity said.
The day concluded with a free picnic for all.
“This was one of the best years,” Harrity said. “We have had the camel from the Shiners here in the past, along with horses from the mounted police and K-9 Units from various police departments. While they were not present this year, it was a lovely day.”