Now that I have your attention. Animals cannot be Baptized, nor can they receive the Anointing of the Sick or any other Sacrament. But, animals are part of God’s creation, and part of God’s plan. Everything was created by God out of His infinite wisdom and love. He made no mistakes in His work of creation. In fact, everything in creation in one way or another reflects the something of God and His beauty. When we reflect on creation, the animals and plants, they can teach us something about our relationship with Him. They are totally dependent on God’s providence “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. (Mt 6:26)” If we only lived with trust in that same dependance on Almighty God’s care for us.
As many of you know, my dog, Mickey has indolent lymphoma. There is no Sacrament given for animals, no matter how good or gentile they are. Sacraments are for men. Each night when I go to bed, I give my dog a blessing and a cookie. I have also been praying over his lymph nodes. There are many stories of the saints curing animals out of concern for the animal and for God’s people who need the animal for their livelihood, or just have concern for their pet.
However, like God’s providential care for animals, the Church also extends Her loving care and blessings for animals. In a time when everyone has become so conscience for the environment and creation, we can also take consolation in the Church’s care. Not a care that came about because of worldly environmental concerns, but one that has always been there.
In my preferred “Book of Blessings,” known as the “Roman Ritual” of 1964, there are many blessings for creatures of all kinds. Among these blessings is a “Blessing of Sick Animals.” So, if you have a sick animal be sure you ask your priest to uses this blessing. Of course the priest can make a blessing up on the spot, but the Church’s ritual is backed by the treasury of Holy Mother Church.
3. BLESSING OF SICK ANIMALS
The priest, vested in surplice and purple stole, says:
P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
All: Who made heaven and earth.
P: Deal not with us, Lord, as our sins deserve.
All: Nor take vengeance on us for our transgressions.
P: You, O Lord, will save both men and beasts.
All: Just as you, O God, show mercy again and again.
P: You open your hand.
All: And fill every living creature with your blessing.
P: Lord, heed my prayer.
All: And let my cry be heard by you.
P: The Lord be with you.
All: May He also be with you.
Let us pray.
God, who supplied even dumb animals to lighten man’s toil, we humbly entreat you to preserve these creatures for our use, since without them mankind cannot subsist; through Christ our Lord.
Let us pray.
We humbly entreat your mercy, O Lord, praying that in your name and by the power of your blessing + these animals may be cured of the dire sickness that afflicts them. Let the devil’s power over them be utterly abolished, and do you, Lord, protect their life and health against recurrent sickness; through Christ our Lord.
Let us pray.
Have pity on us, Lord, we beg you, and turn away every scourge from your faithful. Rid our beasts of the dread sickness that is destroying them, so that we who are justly punished when we go astray may feel your gracious mercy when we repent; through Christ our Lord.
They are sprinkled with holy water.