All Creatures of our God and King
Pet Blessing Service
St. Michael and All Angels, Thursley on Sunday 17th October 2021
All creatures of our God and King certainly filled St. Michael and All Angels, Thursley almost to capacity for a chaotic but truly joyful and successful Pet Blessing Service on Sunday 17th October 2021.
Over 60 human creatures worshipped God and sang 6 beautiful hymns and other songs which Rob, our organist, played, including Teddy Bears Picnic and How Much is that Doggie in the Window?
Many more of God’s creatures gave us their best, most worshipful vocal noises too. A Shetland pony and a donkey, who were welcomed right into church, whinnied, and munched on treats. Many dogs of various species, small and large, barked, woofed, sniffed, and wagged their happy tails. Errol, the pigeon, cooed and stretched his wings.
We even welcomed a ferret in a cage (whose name I didn’t catch) who seemed rather quiet but perhaps his dooking (as a ferret’s happy noises are apparently called) was drowned out by all the other happy animal and human sounds.
We all made such a joyful noise with such gusto that the 14th century timber tie-beams supporting the belfry resounded with our worship of God and our grateful thanks for the animals, God gives us for company and support. All Things Bright and Beautiful, all creatures great and small had rarely felt so powerful and appropriate.
Who Put the Colours in the Rainbow (who put the hump on the camel, who taught the honeybee to dance?) had us thinking of the variety, intricacy, and behaviours of animals on earth, among other aspects of God’s creation.
All God’s Creatures Got a Place in the Choir confirmed the very warm, fun welcome, all God’s creatures will get, not just in the choir but inside the church at St. Michael and All Angels, Thursley.
Think of a World without any Trees (think of a world without any animals, think of a dawn without any bird) helped us reflect on the danger of extinction so many animals face and how we need to care for the animal world much better than we sometimes do.
All Creatures of our God and King helped us all praise God and God’s creation with heart-felt hallelujahs.
We thanked God for the beauty, glory, and abundance of creation, acknowledging our responsibility to the animal world. We said sorry for our failures to care for the animal world through thoughtlessness and cruelty and were assured of Christ’s forgiveness and eternal love. We asked God for strength and grace to pursue the welfare and protection of animals, making a solemn promise that we would take our responsibility towards animal care seriously.
Our Old Testament Bible reading was from Isaiah 11.6-9 (the wolf shall lie down with the lamb, looking forward to perfect peace and safety for all, an effective return to paradise, when all shall have knowledge of God) and Hannah read a moving story, God’s Delight by Trevor Dennis. This imaginatively described God’s delight in the animals and angels God created. I had never considered how many angels might fit on the head of a pin before.
Hannah preached about her experience of growing up with a menagerie of animals and how they had helped her at so many points of her life when she most needed help. She blessed every animal in church individually, blessed all the human creatures collectively and sent us out with
‘God has blessed our animals and our relationships with them. He has filled our hearts with life and love and laughter and sends us on our way rejoicing. So go in peace to love and serve the Lord.’
A rousing rendition of You Shall Go Out with Joy brought to a close a thoroughly enjoyable, informal, welcoming and inclusive Pet Blessing service at St. Michael and All Angels, Thursley which finished inside with coffee or outside with bowls of water or saucers of milk!
Do join us any Sunday at 10.00am. You will find a very warm welcome awaits you.