Blessing of Animals
2016 Blessing of Animals – October 16, 12 p.m. – Watch this space for details as we get closer to October!
The 2015 Blessing of Animals service, our 16th, took place on Sunday, October 18, 12 p.m.
Otto Walberg, below with Bucky (left), was lay leader and soloist. Guest speaker was Eric Barsness of Puppies Behind Bars – a program that trains prison inmates to raise service dogs. Walberg performed a new song, “St. Francis/Sea Turtle,” composed by singer-songwriter and guitarist Phil Marsh, who accompanied him. Al species were welcome!
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In 1999 we conducted our first Blessing of Animals service in cooperation with St. Peter’s, and it has become a popular neighborhood event on the second Sunday of October. In addition to special prayers for and blessing of the many pets brought to this special Sunday morning worship service by our Chelsea neighbors, there is often poetry and special music just for the occasion. For the 2012 service, with lay leader Otto Walberg, an original piece, “Angels of Earth,” was commissed, with lyrics by CCC member Thad McGar and music by member Paul Bodden. It’s a service that’s kept a bit shorter than usual, with the slightly different format preferred by the largely but not exclusively canine crowd! Special treats are also available, often courtesy of our 9th Avenue neighbor, The Barking Zoo. At the 2012 service, CBS journalist Martha Teichner shared stories from her own life (including an apartment fire while she was away), and her two brave bull terriers, Minnie and Goose (top center, below receiving their individual blessings). Blessing was done by CCC’s Pastoral Counselor Rev. John Magisano and Keith Gardner of St. Peter’s Chelsea.