All tails were wagging and love was in the air on Sunday, October 4 at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Kimberling City, as community members brought their beloved fur babies to be blessed at the annual Blessing of the Animals.
This service is performed to honor St. Frances, the patron of animals and ecology. Since the event was held outside due to COVID it was decided to have a 50’s style “Car Hop” theme. Church members were decked out in saddle oxfords, white socks, white shirts with tails, rolled-up blue jeans, and looking very “in the 50’s”. Our Priest, Anne Cheffey, had on the required poodle skirt. Her husband Dean was the perfect “Fonzie” including a leather jacket and slicked-back hair.
The animals of course were all beautiful, demure, and not acting as silly as the humans they brought with them. Ken McKee played Bless the Beast and the Children and other animal-themed songs as cars drove in and got ready for the service. Once again a strange thing happened. As soon as the words “The Lord be with you” were said, all the animals who had been socializing and very vocal quietened down. This happens every year. It amazes us that the animals seem to know that “church has begun”.
At the end of the service, each car drove to the front of the church where pets and their families received a blessing. They drove a little further and the pets received a kitty or puppy gift bag with treats and a toy, and their humans received ice cream as a thank you for attending this fun, but very meaningful service.