Trinity Episcopal holds Blessing of the Animals service

Published 6:16 pm Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pet lovers from all over the Atmore area gathered Wednesday night at Trinity Episcopal Church for the annual Blessing of the Animals service, celebrated each year on the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, Patron Saint of animals.

Following a brief call to worship, Trinity Episcopal Rev. Mark McDonald began the service by leading the congregation, complete with a crowd of cats and dogs, in a blessing prayer. McDonald also blessed each individual animal, asking God to provide good health and wellness for both the pet and the owner.

Lisa Reynolds, who attended the service with several of her kittens, said the ceremony sometimes draws cats, dogs, horses and a slew of other pets. Those in attendance also commented that this year’s service may have drawn the largest crowd to ever congregate for the blessing.

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Bonnie Latino brought her Bichon Frise, Sweetie Pie, who has been diagnosed with epilepsy, to Wednesday’s service and said animals need prayer and attention from God just as people do.

Following the blessing, those in attendance were invited in for soup and sandwiches as their furry friends got to know one another.

Rev. Mark McDonald blesses Bonnie Latino's puppy, Sweetie Pie, during Wednesday's service.