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WHAT IS THE BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS?

For more than twenty years, Emmanuel Episcopal Church has hosted a Blessing of the Animals in early October near the Feast Day of St. Francis’ Day. St. Francis of Assisi is the internationally acknowledged 12th-century patron saint of animals and the environment. Since 2018 the event has been jointly hosted with the National Sporting Library & Museum (NSLM) at 102 The Plains Road in Middleburg.

The blessings take place rain or shine.

WHAT SORT OF ANIMALS ATTEND?

We welcome animals of any kind, great or small, feathered, furry, and hooved. Large animals in trailers (e.g. horses, cattle) will be directed to a special parking area. Volunteers will be on hand to direct traffic and hand out goody bags.

WHAT IF MY ANIMAL IS AT HOME?

Animals sequestering at home can receive their blessings online. A minister will conduct individual blessings to all participants joining virtually. To receive the link or to ask questions about the virtual blessing, email info@nationalsporting.org .

WHO GIVES THE BLESSINGS?

Blessings will be given by ministers, priests and a rabbi from area congregations. Rabbi Rose Lyn Jacob of Madison County, Pastor Tracey Lyons of Mt. Zion–Willisville Chapel Cooperative Parish (UMC), Father Christopher Murphy of St. Stephen the Martyr Roman Catholic Church in Middleburg, and Pastor Herman Nelson of Shiloh Baptist Church, Middleburg, will co-officiate The Blessing of the Animals with the Rev. LeCouteur.

WHY SHOULD I BRING MY ANIMAL?

Father Gene says, "Because we rely so much on our animal companions for comfort, we should take the opportunity to come together and thank God for this gift.”

 

For more information, call (540) 687-6297.

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