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Catholic Prayer: Book of Blessings: Order for the Blessing of Animals (Shorter Rite)

Description:

Appropriate for the feast of St. Francis of Assisi.

INTRODUCTION 942 According to the providence of the Creator, many animals have a certain role to play in human existence by helping with work or providing food and clothing. Thus when the occasion arises, for example, the feast of some saint, the custom of invoking God's blessing on animals may be continued.

943 The present order may be used by a priest or deacon. It may also be used by a layperson, who follows the rites and prayers designated for a lay minister.

944 While maintaining the structure and chief elements of the rite, the minister should adapt the celebration to the circumstances of the place and the people involved.

945 Whenever just one or a few animals are to be blessed or the blessing of animals is to be included in some other celebration, the shorter rite provided in nos. 962-965 may be used.

Prayer:

962 At the beginning of the celebration, the minister says: Our help is in the name of the Lord.

All reply: Who made heaven and earth.

963 One of those present or the minister reads a short text of sacred Scripture, for example:

Genesis 2:20a The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of the air, and all the wild animals.

See Psalm 8:7-9a You have given him rule over the works of your hands, putting all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yes, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, the fishes of the sea.

964 With hands joined, the minister says the prayer of blessing. O God, you have done all things wisely; in your goodness you have made us in your image and given us care over other living things. Reach out with your right hand and grant that these animals may serve our needs and that your bounty in the resources of this life may move us to seek more confidently the goal of eternal life. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Response: Amen.

965 After the prayer of blessing, as circumstances suggest, the minister may sprinkle those present and the animals with holy water.

Prayer Source: Book of Blessings by Prepared by International Commission on English in the Liturgy A Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops' Conferences, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1989
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