Monday, 14 December 2009

All creatures great and small...

Some of my best friends have canine companions, or would like to be a human companion to a dog.

Thus I've been following stories about Christ Church Beaurepaire in Beaconsfield, Québec with great interest. This is the third month that a service has been held there, welcoming the faithful and their dogs.

The church's minister, Michael Johnson, said he has always enjoyed doing a pet blessing once a year, so he was open to the suggestion made by an animal rights activist to include dogs in a church service.

"It's to recognize the value of dogs," said Johnson, who will not be offended if there is barking during his sermon. [...] "The members seem happy about it," said Johnson. He said the service is not an attempt to get more people into church, but perhaps to reach a group of people who would otherwise not have come. "We just want to respond to people's needs," said Johnson. [...]

Johanne Tassé, who suggested the idea to Johnson, said she believes the idea can have a profound impact. "Animals deserve our care and respect," said Tassé, who is president of the Companion Animal Adoption Centres of Quebec. "If we can bring dogs to church, how can we turn around and abuse them?"

She believes that the "deplorable" state of animal welfare in Quebec requires people to take a closer look at how animals affect our lives. "There are search-and-rescue dogs, search-and-recovery dogs, dogs to help the disabled, dogs that go into hospitals," said Tassé. "Dogs help us so much and we need to recognize them as being part of our lives."

From here.

For those who understand French, Radio-Canada has a cool interview about the "Paws and Pray" service that can be heard, here.

This post is for my co-blogger fern hill.

The title is taken from the Anglican hymn: All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, ... Some of you may know the tune.


fern hill said...

Aw, shucks. Thanks, dBO.

L-girl said...

In NYC, the Cathedral of St John the Divine, a very progressive church, holds an annual Blessing of the Animals service. People come with their companion animals of all species. Although I'm an atheist, I attended several times. I found it very moving.

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