Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

October 8, 2013

Annual Pet Blessing scheduled for Wednesday

ASHLAND — The ninth annual Pet Blessing will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the parking lot next to the Paramount Arts Center. Sponsored by Calvary Episcopal Church and First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the annual event celebrates the gift of animals in our lives and commemorates the life and ministry of Francis of Assisi and his connection with creation.

The blessing of animals  predates the 12th century deacon and saint, Francis of Assisi. In the ancient world, animals were essential to survival. Oxen, mules and milk cows were essential to survival. The family dog protected the sheep and safeguarded the house, and the barn cat kept the rodent population to a minimum. Across Europe, animals and beasts of burden were important to peasant families.

Francis is credited with writing a hymn still in use today, “All Creatures of Our God and King” and the famous Prayer of St. Francis, “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace...” Today, churches take this opportunity to celebrate pets in the lives of our families.

Recent surveys reveal that Americans own approximately 73 million dogs, 90 million cats, 148 million fish, 16 million birds and 29 million small animals and reptiles.

According to the Animal Care and Assistance Fund, “Pets not only provide unconditional love and affection, research now shows that they also provide significant health benefits.”

For more information about this monthly program, call the church office at (606) 324-5335 or visit firstchristianchurch.org.

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