All Creatures Great And Small

I have been working on the Blessing of Animals service that is to be held at All Saints on 1st September.  I know that for most of you who hold such services this might seem a month early as St Francis’ feast day isn’t until October 4th.  For us, however, that date means a clash with Harvest so we have decided to have it a month early.  It is also the first time that I have held such a service I’ve been hunting through books and on-line to try, I’ve also been doing some tinkering of my own.

I’ve not actually finished pulling together the service yet, haven’t even decided what of the offerings below I might use, so there might be another posting on this.  Also if you have any ideas to add please share them.

Traditional prayer for the Blessing of Pets
Blessed are you, Lord God, maker of all living creatures. You called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air and animals on the land. You inspired St. Francis to call all of them his brothers and sisters. We ask you to bless this pet. By the power of your love, enable it to live according to your plan. May we always praise you for all your beauty in creation. Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures! Amen.

from ‘Murder in the Cathedral’ by TS Eliot
We praise Thee, O God,
for Thy glory displayed in all the creatures of the earth,
In the snow, in the rain, in the wind, in the storm;
in all of Thy creatures, both the hunters and the hunted.
For all things exist only as seen by Thee,
only as known by Thee, all things exist.
All things affirm Thee in living;
the bird in the air, both the hawk and the finch;
the beast on the earth, both the wolf and the lamb;
the worm in the soil and the worm in the belly.

Albert Schweitzer Prayer
Hear our humble prayer, O God, for our friends the animals, especially for animals who are suffering; for any that are hunted or lost, or deserted or frightened or hungry; for all that must be put to death. We entreat for them all they mercy and pity and for those who deal with them we ask a heart of compassion and gentle hands and kindly words. Make us, ourselves, to be true friends to animals and so to share the blessings of the merciful. Amen.

Robert Runcie Prayer
O Lord, give us humility to thank You for the creation of animals, who can show affection which sometimes puts us to shame. Enlarge our respect for these your creatures, of whom we are the guardians. And give us a sense of responsibility towards all your creation, for Jesus Christ’s sake, Amen.

A version of Psalm 148
All dogs and cats, large and small:
Praise the Lord!
All rabbits, hamsters, and guinea pigs:
Praise the Lord!
All goldfish, terrapins, and swimming creatures:
Praise the Lord!
All robins, gulls, and singing birds:
Praise the Lord!
All bats, squirrels, and foxes:
Praise the Lord!
All horses, cows, and sheep:
Praise the Lord!
All lizards, snakes and creeping things:
Praise the Lord!
Every animal that walks, slithers, and flies:
Praise the Lord!

Two new animal led verses for ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’

The pets that live among us,
the wild beast in the glen.
The working horse and cattle,
the dog, the pig, the hen.
All things bright and beautiful, …

We share this world of plenty,
with creatures great and small.
On earth, in air and water
God blessed and loves them all.
All things bright and beautiful, …

Christ calls you to be his disciples,
to serve him with love and compassion,
to serve the earth by caring for her creatures.
Will you care for creation?
We will care for creation!
We will nurture our animals!
We will celebrate the circle of life with them!

Meister Eckhart
Apprehend God in all things, for God is in all things. Every single creature is full of God and is a book about God. Every creature is a word of God. If I spent enough time with the tiniest creature—even a caterpillar—I would never have to prepare a sermon. So full of God is every creature.

Love animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and joy untroubled. Do not trouble their joy, don’t harass them, don’t deprive them of their happiness, don’t work against God’s intent. Man, do not pride yourself on superiority to animals; they are without sin, and you, with your greatness, defile the earth by your appearance on it, and leave the traces of your foulness after you—alas, it is true of almost every one of us!


One thought on “All Creatures Great And Small

  1. Pingback: Blessing of Animals liturgy « Eat Pray Love Liturgy

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