The blessing of the animals is an old custom dating back to the 13th century and is attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.
It is intended to recognize the important role played by animals and other creatures in our lives and gives us an opportunity to express appreciation for our pets, explained The Rev. Jeff Patnaude, Grace Episcopal Church associate rector.
Members of the community may bring their pets regardless of size and whether they walk, fly or slither to a brief non-denominational service conducted by the rectors of Grace Episcopal Church on Sunday, October 1. The blessing will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the carnival tent in the grassy area adjacent to the parking lot at Grace Episcopal, 303 South Main Street, Kilmarnock.
Music, choir, worship and a homily on Saint Francis will be a part of the celebration. A table of remembrance for photos of deceased pets also will be available. All are welcome.