Blessing of animals set for Sept. 30

Published 3:48 pm Thursday, September 13, 2012

If animals could talk, they might ask for a special prayer from their owners every now and then.

Fortunately for the animals, the Rev. Bill King at Trinity Episcopal Church in Clanton is not waiting to be asked.

On Sunday, Sept. 30 at 1:30 p.m., King will lead the annual Community Blessing of the Animals, a long-time tradition at his church and others nationwide.

People are invited to bring animals of any kind to the side yard at Trinity, and King will pray aloud for each animal by name, as well as all animals on earth.

According to King, the event is always held around the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals.

“Francis taught that all of God’s creatures, large and small, were to be honored and respected,” King said. “He’s the first person who took cows and sheep and fashioned a Christmas nativity scene in Italy in the early 1200s to teach about the birth of Jesus.”

Trinity has held the event for the past six years and has blessed various types of animals, from pet dogs and cats to horses, pigs, fish, hamsters and a tarantula.

This year, the Chilton County Humane Society will bring dogs and cats ready for adoption.

“We think that’s a new way of expanding it as a community celebration,” King said. “There are some people who have come every year. This is an opportunity for them to bring their animals to church and for us to say a prayer for them and for their pet, who is so important to their lives.”

Trinity’s Blessing of the Animals is free and open to the public. It will last about 30 minutes.

Trinity Episcopal Church is located at 503 Second Ave. S. in downtown Clanton.