Because the Rev. Cynthia Taylor is an animal lover, she said, the annual Blessing of the Animals is always one of her favorite tasks she performs as a minister.
"People bring everything from goldfish to gerbils and hamsters, and obviously dogs and cats," Taylor said. "I'm still waiting for the opportunity to bless a horse. I think that would be great."
The seventh annual blessing, a thanksgiving service for all of God's creatures, will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Memorial Gardens behind the Columbia County Library.
The service celebrates animals as God's creatures in honor of the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the Catholic patron saint of animals and ecology. The service will include some general prayers in thanksgiving of animals.
"Then, anybody who would like, I do individual blessings," said Taylor, who usually has her Pembroke Welsh corgi, Jack, at her feet. "I'll stay until everyone who wanted one has received that.''
Taylor said that each year, the church highlights a humane society or pet organization. This year, Happy Tails Rescue, a pet rescue and adoption organization, will conduct pet adoptions.
Taylor said dogs should be on leashes, cats in carriers and fish in bowls for what she calls the largest area animal blessing event. Treats for pets and their owners will be available.
"Being around people who understand the love of animals, that's where you realize you are not alone in that love," Taylor said. For information, call the church, (706) 210-1133.
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