FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Christ Episcopal Church held a “Blessing of the Animals” service on Sunday, Oct. 3.
“The Blessing of the Animals is a service that many churches around Christianity, but especially in The Episcopal Church, do yearly around the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi, who is known for his patronage of animals and creation,” Jordan Trumble, the rector of the church, said. “And it’s, again, a tradition that a lot of churches do. And I think it’s important because animals are important to a lot of people. Pets are amazing companions for people in various stages of life and I think it’s important to honor that, but also to honor that part of God’s creation.”
Congregants Matt and Vicki Iber brought their three pets to be blessed. Their dogs Peyton and Destiny, as well as their cat Benjamin, were all blessed by Trumble during the service.
It marked a return to tradition after the service was canceled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It feels really good to be able to do this because again, I know that for a lot of people it’s really important to honor their companions, their animal companions and to bless that to them,” Trumble said. “And so, it feels great to know that we’re doing that and we have some little Saint Francis medallions that we’re giving out to anybody who comes today. They can put them on their animals’ collars, or keep them just as a reminder that God blesses and cares about those animals and the owner and animal companion relationship.”
If people were unable to attend the service, Trumble said they can contact her and she would “gladly help them”.
She said she doesn’t care if it’s a house or farm animal, she just wants to help bless people’s pets.
“If you are seeing this year and wish that you’d known about it, come next year because I’m sure we’ll do it again,” Trumble said.