It was all barks and clucks at Christ Episcopal Church Sunday afternoon, as church leaders hosted their annual blessing of the pets ceremony.

Pet owners brought their pets — mostly dogs, but a few chickens, too — in to the church’s courtyard, where Rev. Catherine Collier gave them their blessing.

“Our pets bring us great joy in our lives,” she said. “So we say some kind words and thank them for loving their owners unconditionally, and thank them for the love that they bring to us.”

The annual event, held near Saint Francis Day (Oct. 4) every year, is open to the public and church members.

“St. Francis was a great lover of animals,” Collier said. “He believed that in creation we could truly see the love of god, he had very much a servant’s heart, but he loved animals.”

More than 100 pets attended the blessing, but not all of them have homes. The Humane Society of West Alabama brought along some of their adoptable animals.

“Father just blessed them,” said Humane Society volunteer Taylor Lissarrauge. “I heard him say how he hopes they get loving homes and he knows that they are loving animals and he can’t wait to see what the future holds for them. It was just really beautiful hearing that, because I know these pets and they are great dogs.”


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