Millions of Americans have invited diverse creatures from the animal kingdom to share their lives and their homes as members of the family. When such a deep bond exists, we are moved to do all we can to enhance the lives of these beings that show us unconditional love, that teach us an appreciation for all who inhabit the natural world, and that bring elements of the sacred into our daily existence.
Reverends Laurie Sue Brockway and Victor Furhman, in their book “Pet Prayers and Blessings: Ceremonies and Celebrations to Share with the Animals You Love,” report that “annual blessings of the animals are a Christian tradition that has filtered into the mainstream” church calendar in a number of denominations. One of the prayers for pets written by Brockway and Furhman follows.
Prayer of Protection
May this pet be guided in her everyday activities.
May she be safe in her comings and goings.
May she be well-fed, well-manicured, and look both ways before
crossing the street … or before crossing another animal.
May she be safe in our home.
May she be safe in our absence.
May she be safe in our presence.
May she be safe and guided every day.
Pet owners in the Atlanta area have an exciting ongoing opportunity to experience this beautiful tradition of blessing the animals. Unity North Atlanta Church will be holding its first monthly Praying Paws pet blessing service, led by Rev. Jeanie Ward, on Sunday, November 3, 2013, from 4 to 4:30 pm in the foyer of the church sanctuary. For those wishing a one-on-one blessing, personal prayer, or healing time with someone from the Healing Ministry or Sound Ministry, there will be an extra 30 minutes after the regular service from 4:30 to 5 pm to accommodate these needs. Your friendly, socially comfortable pets are invited or you may bring pictures of your pets to receive this blessing for health and prosperity.
Unity North Atlanta Church is located at 4255 Sandy Plains Road in Marietta, Georgia 30066. The church campus is located in the Atlanta suburb of East Cobb. Directions from Columbus, Georgia: Take I-75 North from Atlanta to Exit 276A – Canton Road (5 Spur) going north. At the first light, turn right onto Sandy Plains Road. Follow Sandy Plains for approximately 6.7 miles. The church is located on the left side of the road. Make a U-turn at the next intersection.
Resources for Home Study
The following texts are available on Amazon: (1) “Pet Prayers and Blessings: Ceremonies and Celebrations to Share with the Animals You Love” by Laurie Sue Brockway and Victor Fuhrman ($5.98 in hardcover); (2) “Animal Blessings: Prayers and Poems Celebrating our Pets” by June Cotner ($13.98 in hardcover); and (3) “Blessing of the Animals: A Guide to Prayers and Ceremonies Celebrating Pets and Other Creatures” by Diana L. Guerrero ($12.98 in hardcover).