Sunday, October 6, 2013

St Francis of Assisi - Blessing of the Animals - Nim goes to Church

Friday, October 4th is the St. Francis of Assisi's feast day. Since Odin was alive, I have been trying to make a Blessing of the Animals event and this year is the first year I was able to.

I couldn't make any of the Friday events work out, but this morning we got up early to attend services at Holy Cross in Redmond.

I could blame it on not hiking since Tuesday or I could blame it on not training Nim on church behavior but wow, that was one of the harder public events we have done in awhile. I doubt they will forget us any time soon.

The church, staff, and congregation at Holy Cross was lovely. You would think that animals attended every Sunday. We pulled in behind quite possibly the tiniest car I have ever seen in my life that had a sticker "Twinkie Power" on the back. The lady that got out was so nicely dress and had a little poodle about the size of Nim's head...also nicely dressed. The poodle let Nim know she wasn't up for any of his attitude and clearly was a church going pro.

Nim was a little crazed in the parking lot, but I wasn't prepared for him to be so brainless when we entered the church (made me wonder if I was nervous?). We finally made it in, took a back row seat on the aisle and as he slowly settled in I thought we were going to be OK.

The 8am service was probably lighter than the 10am and some of the last to enter were a couple of families with kids carrying what I assumed cat carriers. Some had cats. One had a rooster. A ROOSTER.

What little brain Nim had promptly left the building.

The services started and he was at least distracted by me getting up and down and participating in the services. Finally it was time for the Blessing of the Animals and we were to come up individually, which made sense. While waiting our turn I heard the flutter of features, some commotion, and turned to see the rooster running under the row of chairs coming towards us. He hit the aisle in front of us, took off at a rooster run, went under the piano and amazingly up on the "stage" where Fr. Jim swiftly grabbed him.

Anyone who knows Nim in person knows exactly what noise came out of him. I literally started dumping sweat. People were telling me he was eager for his blessing but I knew exactly what that noise was for. The only reason Nim's feral noise was slightly quieter than normal was his utter disbelief that a chicken, outside fencing, had gotten so close.

I really have to hand it to Fr. Jim. I enjoyed his service and he had a wonderful animal acceptance about him. Nim and I did make it down the aisle, vacuuming any features on the way, made a quick check under the piano (which is probably where Nim last could actually see the rooster) and Fr. Jim patiently waited for Nim to simply be more present before giving his blessing.

Many people come up to Nim during greeting time which he naturally enjoyed.

Have a great Sunday and I leave you with the very popular "Prayer of St. Francis." While not actually written by St. Francis this prayer is considered to embrace his spirit.

Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.


  1. You have painted a vivid picture of your adventure at the blessing. Oh how I would have loved to be there just to watch that rooster creating havoc. I'm sure Nim wasn't the only pup getting a bit excited about that. Believe me Walter & Millie would be dragging us down the aisle to get to him. Have a good week.


    1. It is one of the first events in probably a year in which I felt we were in over our head a bit. The rooster blew my mind...I mean honest...who lets a rooster go in church? :) So I actually don't think the rest of the dogs knew what was going on. There were several labs towards the back and their people and just brought them in from the car, the rooster literally ran towards Nim and then booked it down the very aisle we were sitting on! I think the other dogs couldn't actually see the rooster but they sure could hear Nim which probably caused more of a frenzy for them than anything. The rooster was this cute little white guy with flowing features. I think many were entertained. :)

  2. Well, that sounds awesome and I am sorry I missed it! I was really hoping to make it to the service, but it didn't work out. Anyway, I wouldn't have seen you because I was aiming for St. Jude's, which is where I thought you would be. Your place sounds way more fun!!

    1. I didn't even think to check St. Jude's! Good to know. Despite massive drama and subsequent chocolate eating + nap afterwards I am planning to try this again next year so I will make sure you know where and when I am going. I think St. Jude's has a bigger congregation than this place...but it has been so long!

  3. Well this sounded much better because St Jude's seemed to be a gathering on the lawn not in the church.

    1. I have to admit, I enjoyed having a service. I could see where a gathering might have been easier from a dog management standpoint. :)

  4. That sounds wonderful! I believe one of the shelters around here actually have a priest and rabbi come out and they hold the event outside the shelter. I've never been but always wanted to go too. Nim sounds like he did really well especially with a rooster running around. Made me laugh!

    1. It really was a great service. Took some years off my life, but I think Nim had a great time.