Many Toronto churches have adopted a custom of blessing animals on the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. St. Aidan’s Church at Queen and Silver Birch has been holding a special service for a number of years. On Oct. 2 Rev. Lucy Reid welcomed about 40 dogs, six cats and a horse (and their families, of course) to partake in a moment of worship at St. Aidan’s.
Despite the number of pets, the unusual setting and the loud music, the service was extremely moving – although a number of dogs did try to sing along with the hymns.
Another pet owner asked Rev. Reid if she would bless the ashes of his dog, Patch. Patch’s ashes will be spread in a “beautiful place in nature” but the blessing would bring solace to the family.