Another “Blessing of the Animals,” with a community-festival twist

October 5, 2008 7:31 pm
|    Comments Off on Another “Blessing of the Animals,” with a community-festival twist
 |   Pets | West Seattle news | West Seattle religion | West Seattle video

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Brother Nicholas Kis from the Order of St. Francis in the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia blessed dozens of West Seattleites’ pets this afternoon in the West Seattle High School parking lot, at a Blessing of the Animals presented by neighboring St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church. Mostly dogs, just a few cats, one of whom received the first blessing; later, we discovered it had a special meaning:

(video no longer available due to blip.tv shutdown)

When we caught up with Pesky the cat a few minutes later, Pesky’s owner told us that blessing was really like “last rites” — later today, she was taking 14-year-old Pesky to the vet to be euthanized, after a long and painful battle with incurable renal disease. She read about today’s event on WSB and thought it would be an appropriate place to bring Pesky first. Just ahead, more video and photos:

SJB’s rector, The Rev. Peter DeVeau, explained why this event was presented community festival style (listen to who chimed in as he spoke):

(video no longer available due to blip.tv shutdown)

Rev. DeVeau said he hopes the event will grow in subsequent years. Meantime, the singing he mentioned in that clip was courtesy of members of the SJB choir – here’s a snippet of how they started the event:

(video no longer available due to blip.tv shutdown)

After that, prayers were said before a “parade” of animals and their owners, who had formed a circle while waiting to receive the blessings.

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Much mingling, too, with free coffee, some vendors selling handmade items including “Pet Pouches,” and adoptable potential pets – in the background of the next photo, that’s the Humane Society’s big yellow MaxMobile (which also visited Thriftway a few times this summer); second photo is one of the pets holding court inside the MaxMobile, waiting for a new home:

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As we mentioned in yesterday’s coverage of a pet-blessing event at The Mount, this is a tradition celebrated in many places around the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals (the official feast day was yesterday).

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