Wednesday, July 2, 2008

And now for something slightly different

We bless pets pretty regularly in the Episcopal Church but today I got to bless a new animal hospital. I used the format for house blessings found in the Book of Occasional Services, adapted prayers from the New Zealand Prayer Book, the BOS and the Book of Common Prayer. A very few I wrote myself.
It was pretty neat. People often ask to have their houses blessed and I've done several of those. For the first time, though, I realized that we bless the space less than we bless the people who will be using it. To be able to extend those blessings, through the new building and the people who work in it, to pets and farm animals felt really good, particularly as my own pets are so often the bearers of God's love for me.
One of the books I used to prepare the service was John O'Donohue's To Bless the Space Between Us. I recommend it to anyone wanting to know more about prayers of blessing. They are written in the Celtic style and cover a wide range of times and places.

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