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Blessings of the Animals




Every October 4th, people all over the world celebrate the feast day of the Patron Saint of Animals, Saint Francis of Assisi. It's customary that in remembrance of the Saint’s love for all creatures, animals are welcomed into churches for a special ceremony called the “Blessing of the Animals.” St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Kimberling City has been holding this event for well over a decade on this date for the beloved pets in our community. This year we had 32 people bring 24 dogs to be blessed by St. Mark’s Priest Mother Ann. This year ten cats and dogs were brought to the event via cell phone cameras and photos. As you can imagine with 24 dogs, from little Yorkies under 10 pounds to a Great Pyrenees weighing in around 150 pounds, there was a lot of excitement, sniffing and socializing taking place. But an amazing thing happens every year:  Before the service there is a lot of conversation, both human & animal. But once Mother Ann says, “The Lord be with you” and the parishioners respond, “And also with you” the sound drops form level ten to zero. You literally can hear a pin drop. It remains this quiet until the service is over and every fur baby has been blessed. It’s as if the animals suddenly realize that the church service has begun. This special time with our furry family members has become a fundraiser for the Tri-Lakes Humane Society in Reeds Spring.  Our Lady of the Cove Catholic Church, The United Methodist Church and St. Andrew Presbyterian.