The First Parish of Truro, United Church of Christ, will hold its annual “Blessing of the Animals” service at 10am on Saturday, August 19th. This service has become a popular destination each year for animal lovers from around the Outer Cape. The congregation describes the service as an opportunity to give thanks for the special bond between all creatures under God’s care, and to re-commit those in attendance to the kind stewardship of the world’s animals. Visitors are encouraged to bring their leashed or securely caged animals to the service with them. Those unable to bring an animal may wish to bring the picture of a beloved pet, whether living or passed, or a picture of a wild animal species they particularly enjoy. Children may bring stuffed animals, as well. The service is held outdoors to better accommodate the animals in attendance. A time of refreshments for both the human and animal attendees follows the service.
The highlight of the service is a time of blessing where the church’s pastors pray for each animal present by name, asking for God’s blessing on that creature’s life. “It’s my favorite part of the service,” says the Rev. Chad Kidd, co-pastor of First Parish Truro; “We’ve had many dogs at previous services, and it’s fun to pray for them to have a long and happy life. Sometimes I think they know what we’re praying for. I’ve had quite a few licks and nuzzles of gratitude over the years.” But all animals are welcome, whether they bark, meow, tweet, or slither. Rev. Kidd continues, “The diversity of creatures in this world is staggering and awe-inspiring. People of faith should care about the health and welfare of animals as part of their witness to God’s love for all creation, not just humanity. Services like this are a fun way to promote awareness and action at the church and community levels for protecting and celebrating the beauty of our environment.”
The First Parish Truro is an Open and Affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ, which means that all of their services are open to people of all ages, races, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual expressions, economic backgrounds, and mental or physical abilities. The church is located at 3 Parish Lane; Truro, MA 02666. All are welcome, parking is plentiful, and the building is wheelchair accessible.