On Sunday 25th June we held a Pet Service Eucharist. This was a “first” for Fr Nicholas – but not for our congregation who have previously enjoyed such services. We aptly started by singing “All creatures of our God and King” and listened to readings from “Little Flowers of St Francis 16” and the Gospel of Matthew 10:26-29.
Rev Jane used her sermon to introduce us to the animals present in church:
3 living and breathing (Trixie the cat – belonging to Carrie; Ariel the dog – belonging to the lo Polito family; and Sam the dog – belonging to Maureen);
3 cuddly soft toy animals (Chicken with no name- belonging to Sue; Rose & Charlie the dogs – belonging to Emily & Olivia);
photo of Sweet Pea the cat – belonging to Emma;
and numerous testimonies about other cats and dogs belonging to members of the congregation.
The sermon continued by asking the congregation to think about how we look after our creatures by feeding them; keeping them clean; playing with them and giving them shelter and love. We then also thought about how God cared for his creatures: providing the air in which birds can fly; the sea in which fish can swim and the land on which humans and animals can move about. To conclude the sermon Rev Jane blessed the pets present and those at home.
Following this our Sunday Club children led some animal-related Prayers of Intercession before we moved onto sharing the Peace and the Eucharist. During Communion our choir beautifully sang the anthem “Fairest Lord Jesus” by Martin How.
Other hymns sung during the service included “All things bright and beautiful” and “Thank you lord for this new day” which included the line “Thank you lord for slimy slugs”… Yes, even they are important creatures!
All of the animals present were incredibly well-behaved and it was a joyous service to share with our four-legged friends.