Idea For Dog Lovers Service

Our vicar is planning to officiate at a dog lovers' service at which people's pooches are invited along. I rather think he's drawn the short straw there so I offered to help him with ideas.

Problem is, dogs generally don't get a good press in the Bible, but one passage I remembered was in 2 Kings 9 where Jezebel is tossed out of a window and her body eaten by the dogs of Jezreel. I suggested he preached on this passage and, as a climax, had a piñata filed with bones and a heavily-made up female face thrown down from a balcony for the assembled dogs to enjoy. He said he'd think about my suggestion.

Comments

  • Services for blessing of the animals (of which dogs are always in the majority) seem fairly popular around here during the first weekend in October, to celebrate the feast day of St. Francis (Oct. 4). The bulletin from one of the more popular services in these parts can be found here.
  • Agree with Nick. Blessing of the animals occurs regularly in these parts, too. I don’t have any bulletins for readings, but it’s so common that it must be easy enough to find appropriate readings.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    edited September 15
    ECraigR wrote: »
    . . . it’s so common that it must be easy enough to find appropriate readings.
    A little googling turned up this Catholic liturgy and this United Methodist liturgy.
  • Someone (I don't remember who it was), had this lovely quotation from Tobit (11:9) as his/her signature on the old Ship:
    Then the dog, which had been with them in the way, ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail.
    :smile:

  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Thank you for that reminder, it is a joyful quotation indeed.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Be ready for Total Chaos!

    Our dogs are highly trained service dogs, but get a lot of them together and all bets are off!

    Have fun. :mrgreen:
  • I've been to St. Francis Day services at Grace Episcopal Cathedral, here in San Francisco. Don't know if they're still done.

    People brought their pets, and various guest animals were present, too. Afterwards, the celebration moved out onto the church plaza. With advance notice, people even brought teddy bears and such for blessing! :)

    If I may suggest: If you have both an early service and a main service, do the blessings at the main service. That way, people who are allergic to animals, are scared of them, think it's inappropriate, etc., have another option in the early service. And make sure to clean up well afterwards--e.g., vacuum to help remove pet dander.

    FWIW.
  • If you don't have an early service, try having a separate service e.g. mid-afternoon (could just as well be on a Saturday, say, as on a Sunday).

    We did this at Our Place one St Francis-tide (on the nearest Sunday afternoon to October 4th), but attendance was very small - 9 animals, 3 birds (parrots, IIRC), and just 6 humans - partly due to a lack of decent publicity.

    Depending on the weather, of course, but an outside service is probably a good idea, if there's a suitable area.
  • If you don't have an early service, try having a separate service e.g. mid-afternoon (could just as well be on a Saturday, say, as on a Sunday).
    .

    YES! In my former parish we'd do an oudoor service around 4PM. It let the dogs be dogs, sporting about, cats in carriers were safe, gerbils hugged closely by their persons.... raucous, fun, much laughter. Doing it in the church never worked.

    But.... in next parish I was invited to do a blessing of animals at the local pet shelter. They had a large meeting room, didn't mind the odd bits of poop which they quickly cleaned up, and had lots of indoor space if some animals needed to be away from the others. The only downside (for me, not them or the animals) was that after the large group gathering the head of the shelter asked me to bless the cats in their nicely walled in rooms. I blithely agreed, and found that they'd just rescued something like 30 cats, all black and white, all suspected of being several generations of the venerable older pair now in their own retirement room. Head of shelter was not staisfied with a simple group blessing, but fully expected that each cat and kitten be carressed by Dear Father..... ending with those in quarantine. Cat fur on the stole for several days!
  • Yes, that sort of outdoor service, if circumstances allow, was what I had in mind.

    Not too sure about the pet shelter, though I like the idea. Full marks, @BabyWombat, for coping, but even having to be in the same room as one cat (admirable, and sagacious, animals though they be) would have me sneezing, and contact with their fur would put me in A & E at the nearest hospital...
  • Ours is always on a Saturday morning in the garden -- next to our statue of St. Francis.

    (BabyWombat, we had hoped to hold a blessing at the local shelter that we support, but they didn't like the idea of holding something specifically religious, or maybe specifically Christian.)

  • Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    BabyWombat, we had hoped to hold a blessing at the local shelter that we support, but they didn't like the idea of holding something specifically religious, or maybe specifically Christian.

    Pity - still, you may get invited one day, after all! Keep the diplomatic back channels open...

  • Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    BabyWombat, we had hoped to hold a blessing at the local shelter that we support, but they didn't like the idea of holding something specifically religious, or maybe specifically Christian.

    Pity - still, you may get invited one day, after all! Keep the diplomatic back channels open...

    We will. They are the recipients of our annual drive for food, supplies, and monetary donations, and two of our parishioners volunteer there.

    Bear in mind, we're in the U.S., and specifically religious events are not as apt to be held at public facilities as they may be elsewhere. If they have a Christian blessing, they might feel a need for a Jewish blessing, a Moslem blessing, etc. Our local city councils (as well as the state legislature) have a variety of clergy open their meeting with prayer (usually very non-specific). So in a neighboring city, the Satanists are suing to be included. A lot of people are pushing to replace all of these "invocations" with a moment of silence.
  • Yes, point taken. I think this happens in Ukland, too, these days.
  • And I should clarify, the blessing at the shelter was a somewhat Christian in that it spoke of Francis, but was more-or-less in the style of something more Unitarian Universalist, giving thanks for diversity, gratitude for the joys our pets bring..... all sorts of good stuff without being too specific as to whom it was addressed.
  • Suggest you cover the floor in plastic sheeting.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Suggest you cover the floor in plastic sheeting.

    No need for that. Have some Simple Solution spray to hand just in case. It’s not likely you’ll need it. Dogs would be unlikely to walk on slippy plastic.

Sign In or Register to comment.