A Church Service of Blessing for Animals
Looking for something different for Collective Worship? Why not have a service of Blessing for Animals?
This REEP feature gives a glimpse into a service that took place in St Mark’s Church Regent’s Park in London (also known as ‘The Zoo Church’ because it is situated just across the road from the London Zoo). Members of the congregation and the local people brought their pets for a blessing and to celebrate the part that animals play in our lives. As well as a chance for songs and prayers, the local clergy invited the pets and their owners up for the ‘laying on of hands’ – an act of blessing and naming that required some courage from the vicar, the Reverend Dr Peter Baker, when confronted with… a snake!
Father Peter Baker tells us about why he thinks it is important in Christianity to acknowledge animals and their part in creation, as well as a little bit about the service that took place.
Action: Make Your Own Service Of Blessing
- In schools, you could have a service of blessing for animals too. Even if you can only have a few live animals, maybe children and students could bring in pictures of their pets.
- You can use all or part of the text of the St Mark’s service, adapting it to your school.
- Add music – the Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saens for example.
- Find animal poems to add to the service.
- Add illustrations – perhaps the Art Club could make giant animals to have on display.
- Find stories about animals from the great World Faiths – St Jerome and the Lion, for instance.
- As well as pets, you might want to remember animals that are endangered – at St Mark’s service there was a collection for a charity that helps tigers.
Once you have made your special service, why not send us your texts and photos for publication on the REEP site to share with other schools?
Click on a thumbnail below to view the video clip.
View the full text of the animal service.