The Rev. Cynthia Taylor is inviting all animal lovers to bring their pets to the Columbia County Amphitheater and Memorial Gardens on Saturday for a special blessing.
Taylor will lead The Church of the Holy Comforter's eighth annual Blessing of the Animals service at 10 a.m.
"We had our first horses last year. It was wonderful," Taylor said. "We welcome dogs, cats, gerbils and hamsters and goldfish."
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.
"We do individual blessings every year. People have stayed for that one-on-one blessing," Taylor said. She usually says prayers for at least one ailing pet. "It is always very touching."
She also whispers a special prayer for each pet, which usually includes asking for "a long life, good health, a shiny coat and a wet nose."
Taylor, an animal lover, said the special service is her favorite task to perform. Jack, Taylor's Pembroke Welsh corgi, and her new pet, Kelsey, a 7-month-old corgi, will be with her at the service.
The event grows each year and the church spotlights a humane society or pet organization at the blessing. This year, the Columbia County Humane Society will be on site with information and will possibly conduct adoptions.
For more information, call the church at (706) 210-1133.
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