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New animal rites and prayers voted on and approved at the Episcopal General Convention

New animal rites and prayers voted on and approved at the Episcopal General Convention

Resolution A054, calling for new rites and prayers for animals was approved at the Episcopal General Convention on July 12.

The Prayer Book and Music committee heard passionate testimonies concerning the need for animal liturgies. Such liturgy needed the capability for use in a wide variety of settings, including the home.

"We really feel it's important to try to get something to the houses to decide about this because not only was there moving testimony to this committee at this General Convention but also to the previous General Convention," said the Rev. Ruth Kirk, deputy of the Diocese of Delaware. "Not everyone feels skilled to create the liturgy for Fluffy in their backyard."

The animal rites include rites of passage, such as when a pet dies or an assistive animal dies.

Bishop Duncan Gray, from Mississippi, asked why people were calling for such rites and Bishop George Wayne, from Missouri replied, "There has been a steady, dare I say, unrelenting call for rites like these."

"I'm a convert about this stuff," said Bishop Jeffrey Lee of Chicago, another committee member. "Part of the reason for providing something is because of… the wide range of materials that were presented to us in use out there, and we wanted to something that was responsible."

The bishops changed the resolution's wording to make the materials available rather than to "authorize" them.

"That seemed like a friendly amendment to me and will be well received by the animals of the Episcopal Church," said the Rev. Lowell Grisham of Arkansas, deputy committee chair.

Lighthearted moments included Presiding Bishop Schori, a former oceanographer, saying, "I'm glad to see the whales made it in" and Bishop C. Franklin Brookhart Jr., of Montana, saying, "No one loves his dog more than I."

About Mriana

Mriana is a humanist and the author of "A Source of Misery", who grew up in the Church of God, Anderson Indiana. After she became an adult, she joined the Episcopal Church, but later left the Church and became a humanist. She has two grown sons and raises cats. Mriana raised her sons in the Episcopal Church, but in their teen years, they left the Church and she soon followed. One of her sons became a "Tao Buddhist" and the other a None, creating his own world view. She enjoys writing, reading, science, philosophy, psychology, and other subjects. Mriana is also an animal lover, who cares for their welfare as living beings, who are part of the earth. She is a huge Star Trek fan in a little body.
  • Deborah_B

    The Catholics have the St. Francis of Assisi thing every year — Guess the Episcopalians are catching up in their own way.

    The cat face on the picture looks like my cat's! LOL!

    • Episcopalians have always celebrated (during the first week of Oct., I believe Oct 3) Day of St. Francis with the Blessing of animals every year too. They aren't catching up, they are updating, from what I can tell.

      lol I thought it was a perfect picture. 🙂

      • Deborah_B

        Learned something new.

        • As I've always said, Episcopalians are [reformed] "Catholics" without a pope.

  • Check out how much Episcopalians love music and animals:


    "The Rev. Matthew Moretz, Episcopal priest, sings a lullaby to his friend, Beauregard."

  • 2011 tax table

    This is very interesting but i think that picture shows above is not good because we didn't make fun of our religious things thanks .

    • I was once Episcopalian and most Episcopalians I know/knew enjoy pictures like that and it was hardly making fun, given what I know. In fact, the Episcopalians I know/knew would say it is the purr-fect picture.

    • Here is the prayer I referred in video and song, which I still appreciate very much.


  • Pingback: The Black Community, Religion, President Obama, and Same Sex Marriage | God Discussion()

  • savvy

    I came upon this article accidentally and find it very interesting. Without being/sounding condescending I would like to know from where these types of religious practices come. If Episcopalians are Christians and the Bible is their authority (and this is clearly not in the Bible), it is confusing to me how some 'come up' with ideas such as this seemingly from nowhere. Can you explain? Thanks

    • I'm not so sure that it's not Xian, after all it celebrates love for all of "God's creation" and allegedly St. Francis was a great follower of Christ, according to Church history. It all depends on your beliefs, but even Catholics worship St. Francis of Assisi, who was very much the animal lover. Many of these rituals and services, such as "The Blessing of Animals", come in honour of him and often celebrated on the Day of St. Francis, with a feast day. St. Francis also allegedly suffered from Stigmata and is well-known for a prayer that is attributed to him, but it's been questioned as to whether or not he wrote it:




      Now, if you want to discuss the Bible, weren't Adam and Eve told to care for God's creation, including the animals, and didn't Jesus tell us to love? Secondly, if God made everything on earth, then why not love the animals he allegedly created? I can't imagine anyone who loves animals not appreciate such day and thank God for their wonderful pets, as well as being related to them by a very distant relative, due to a wonderful thing called Evolution. You do know that many Episcopalians and Catholics accept Evolution? Anyway, back on topic, the point of all of this is to celebrate the wonderful gifts God gave us.

      BTW, I am an apostate Episcopalian turned humanist, in case you're wondering.

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