A goat is blessed at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
The Feast of St. Francis is approaching, and the saint was well known for his love of animals. Two local churches are having special ceremonies with performances and celebrations. You can see some cute house pets and even some larger exotic (for the city) creatures. A Llama, oh mama!
UPDATE: The original date we posted for the Cathedral of St. John the Divine was incorrect. We have updated it below.
The Church of St Paul & St Andrew, at 263 West 86th Street (corner of West End Avenue) will hold its feast service on Friday, October 4 at 6 p.m. “On the feast day of St. Francis, the Children and Families Ministry will host a Blessing of the Animals service. On October 4th at 6 p.m. bring your companions to church to receive toys, treats and a blessing. Some of our companions have passed on, and you are invited to bring a picture of them with you. You will be offered a time to memorialize them and receive a blessing. Some of most trusted friends are our stuffed animals. Please bring them to church, too! We will sing, tell stories and celebrate the animals in our lives. Event is open to the public and all ages.” More here.
The Cathedral of St. John the Divine at 114th Street and Amsterdam is holding its celebration on Sunday, October 6 from 12:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. “Join us for a full afternoon of fun and festivities to celebrate Saint Francis, the patron saint of animals and the environment, on the lush grounds of the world’s largest Gothic cathedral! All people and pets are encouraged to dress as their favorite animal in honor of Saint Francis. The day will feature activities for kids of all ages, appearances by the Mettawee River Dance Theatre, food trucks, pet adoption agencies, and more! Priests will be available to bless pets for the duration of the Fair. At 2 pm, the Great Animal Costume Parade will commence and all in costume will be invited to circle the Cathedral grounds showcasing their fantastic animal costumes to the community, culminating in a ceremony awarding prizes in one of our 7 categories and celebrating Best In Show.” More here.
The first link with FAQ doesn’t work from this page, nor the page of St. John the Divine. Going directly to their event page does provide further details, including “An individual may also receive one complimentary pass for a gift of $250.” How is a $250 donation a spiritual act for blessing animals? Is that how it works if one cannot make the mass?
In addition to Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew on October 4th, there is another blessing of animals on October 20th at West End Collegiate Church – follow the link. https://westendchurch.org/events?page=2
Christ and St Stephens, 69th bt Bway and Columbus, on Sunday October 6
There is also a blessing at Saint Ignatius of Antioch Episcopal Church, 552 West End Avenue (enter on 87th Between WEA and Broadway), Sunday October 6 at 4pm.
Looks like Christ Church St Stevens (120 West 69th St) will be Sat Oct 6 at 3pm.
I’ve been, it was about 15-20 animals in a circle, very intimate and welcoming. Felt more spiritual than religious.
oops, Sat Oct 5
A beautiful thing.
The links for St John Divine go to 2016 (time machine!).
The actual St John Divine event is Sunday Oct 6, from 12:30 to 3:30pm; see: https://www.stjohndivine.org/calendar/28961/st-francis-day-fair-with-pet-blessings-and-the-great-animal-costume-parade.
Due to cathedral repairs, the event will not include the in-cathedral service with llamas, tortoises, camels, etc. Rather a more low-key event in the garden. Still lovely I am sure! And nice that we don’t have to line up for hours this time 🙂
The link and article refer to the 2016 feast. This is the link to the event this year, happening on October 6th: https://www.stjohndivine.org/calendar/28961/st-francis-day-fair-with-pet-blessings-and-the-great-animal-costume-parade. Note this note on the page: The traditional St. Francis Day Festal Eucharist and animal procession will not take place. Due to a fire in the crypt on Palm Sunday, the Cathedral is in the midst of an extensive cleaning and conservation project that limits access to many areas of the building and makes it impossible to host the 2,000+ people and pets who attend this beloved service.
And if you miss any of the above, there is also West End Collegiate Church’s blessing of the animals on Sunday Oct 20 at 11am (77th and West End Ave). So many options!
Also Grace & St. Paul’s Church, 71st St betw Columbus & Broadway, Saturday October 5 at 5 pm
I walked by Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church on 82nd bet. Amsterdam and Broadway and they are also holding one on Oct 6th at 2:00 PM!