Barks and meows echoed behind hymns at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church service on Oct. 11. Father Bob Rhoads welcomed cats, dogs and even two goats into the church’s seventh annual pet blessing.
“Animals are people’s companions and important to them and part of their families,” Rhoads said. “It’s natural to bless them.
More than 30 animals formed together at the altar with their owners where Rhoads said a prayer and anointed them with holy water.
Church member Candy Olmer said this was the most animals the service has seen and the first time for goats.
“It’s amazing to see how many people came from outside of the church to have their animals blessed,” Diane Bergsland, parish administrator said.
Some church members that attended the 8 a.m. service returned with their animals specifically for the 10 a.m. blessing.
Lew Norris had his two pet’s collars blessed because his poodle and ten-pound cat “were so vicious he decided to leave them at home,” he joked.
Pet blessings are not uncommon, Rhoads said.
“You’ll find about half of the Episcopalian churches blessing animals in a service.”
Few accidents from the animals occurred and all were easily picked up.
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