Sam and Ann LeeDuMez sat with their 18-month previous son, Silas, and their three canine on a blanket exterior St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Longmont, listening to a service Sunday in honor of St. Francis, the patron saint of animals.
Sam LeeDuMez mentioned he initially thought a service devoted to animals was foolish. But, he mentioned, he’s realized it’s alternative to introduce even younger kids to the messages of the church. While it’s difficult for kids to know sermons or Bible verses, he mentioned, the “Blessing of the Animals” affords an easier lesson.
“It’s a good lesson about how God cares about every creature,” he mentioned, including the household left their cats at residence as a result of they weren’t more likely to take pleasure in the expertise. “It’s pretty easy to understand that God loves your animals as much as you do.”
Longmont’s St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church has made a practice of celebrating the Feast of St. Francis by inviting parishioners and neighbors to convey their pets for a blessing. Sunday’s 10-minute service was held exterior, close to the church’s labyrinth.
“We affirm and welcome everyone, all creatures, great and small,” Rev. Melissa Adzima mentioned. “God loves you and so does St. Francis.”
After the service, she flicked holy water on every animal and provided particular person blessings, along with her daughter, 4-year-old Rachel, and their Shiba Inu, August, helping.
“St. Francis believed we were all kin together,” she mentioned. “It is so nice to be able to celebrate our companion animals.They do so much for us. We need these bright spots.”
Most of the pets in attendance have been canine, although two Himalayan cats, a hen and a rooster additionally attended — all in carriers — to obtain blessings.
Maggie Rothermel, who introduced pet hen Lucy and rooster Eddie, now lives in Estes Park however joined Longmont’s St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church when she lived close by and continues to attend providers.
She mentioned her Silkie Bantams have been marketed as mild chickens which can be good with kids. But Eddie, she mentioned, grew to become feisty after he matured and is intent on defending Lucy in opposition to doable threats. Still, he submitted to mild strokes of his black feathers from the kids in attendance.
Brenda and Phillip diZerega introduced their cats, Flora and Ladybug, and canine, Hazel, to the service.
“We want our animals to be part of the church and know they’re an important part of God’s creation,” Phillip diZerega mentioned.
Kay Aitchison, who handles outreach at St. Stephen’s, mentioned she started attending the “Blessing of the Animals” years in the past after rescuing a Scottish terrier. She introduced her present Scottish terrier, Tilly, to be blessed on Sunday.
“Terriers need this a lot,” she mentioned. “It’s just awesome.”