Sept. 17, 2012. The Episcopal Church of the Holy Cross in Valle Crucis will celebrate the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi with a special Blessing of the Animals service Sunday, Oct. 7 at 3 p.m. in the Church’s lower parking located on State Road 194S. All people, regardless of religious tradition or affiliation, are welcome and encouraged to bring their appropriately restrained pets and livestock to this service of blessing and prayer. Attendees may bring photos or stuffed toys in lieu of their pets.
The blessing of animals has been a long-standing tradition in the Christian Church since the year 1223 when St. Francis first constructed a Christmas Crèche with living animals at a church in the town of Greccio, Italy. Crèches, or Nativity Scenes, are now common throughout the world at Christmas time. The Rev. R. Allan McCaslin, Rector of Holy Cross commented, “Providing an opportunity to offer prayers of blessing and thanksgiving for animals is especially appropriate for towns like Valle Crucis and the surrounding communities where so many residents have pets and where farming is such an integral part of our economy.”
The blessing service lasts twenty to thirty minutes and includes scripture reading, responsive prayers, the blessing of all animals present and a concluding prayer.
Holy Cross Episcopal Church, located a mile from Valle Crucis School at 194S on Skiles Way in Valle Crucis (see http://holycrossvallecrucis.net/directions-and-map-pd-16.php for directions and map), is a parish of the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina, The Episcopal Church and part of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
For more information, call 828-963-4609.