Special Events at Emmanuel
Emmanuel Episcopal Church to Hold Annual Blessing of Animals,
Sunday, October 4
Wakefield, MA--Emmanuel Episcopal Church will be celebrating the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi this Sunday, October 4. The Italian saint, who lived from 1182-1226, is revered for his simple lifestyle, devotion to helping the poor, and love of nature. During the 8:00 and 10:00 a.m. services of Holy Communion readings and prayers will be offered in honor of St. Francis and his love for creation. The later service will include hymns focused on the theme of God’s creation, administration of the sacrament of Holy Baptism, and children’s participation in the liturgy.
The highlight of the St. Francis celebrations is the parish’s annual Blessing of Animals service, held on the church’s front lawn at 12:00 Noon. Parishioners, friends of the church, and neighbors are invited to bring their pets to the church, located at the corner of Main and Bryant Streets and adjacent to the Veterans Memorial Common, for the blessing. The blessing will be conducted by the Rev. Dr. Matthew P. Cadwell, with the assistance of Dr. Beth Shurland, proprietor of the Reading Animal Clinic and the parish’s Junior Warden.
“This lively and joyful service is our annual opportunity to give God thanks in a small way for all of the creatures who offer much happiness and companionship, and to ask God’s continuing blessing and health for them,” said the Rev. Dr. Cadwell, Emmanuel Church’s rector. Animals of all sorts are welcome. Participants are invited to bring photographs of those pets that do not travel well. Children may bring stuffed animals to be blessed as well.
All are welcome to attend the animal blessing, regardless of attendance at the Sunday morning services or denominational affiliation. Weather permitting, the blessing will be held on the church's front lawn, directly across from the Common. In the event of rain, it will be held in the church's Bryant Street courtyard.