WEST SEATTLE WEEKEND SCENE: St. John’s pandemic-era Blessing of the Animals

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)

Some stayed in their cars … others stood outside, distanced:

This was the pandemic-era Blessing of the Animals, held by St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church this morning in the neighboring West Seattle High School parking lot.

This is an early-fall tradition for many churches, honoring the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and ecology. As declared in St. John’s program: “Today we thank God for the gifts of companionship and beauty which animals and pets bring to our lives and homes, and ask God’s blessing on them.”

Presiding were St. John’s rector The Rev. Kate Wesch and Brother Paul Dahlke of the Order of St. Francis:

Also from the program, part of “a prayer attributed to St. Francis”:

Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union;
where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.”

P.S. As previewed here, Alki UCC will include a Blessing of the Animals during its livestreamed service tomorrow, followed by a neighborhood walk-by.

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