As autumn arrives, so does the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi (Oct. 4), and with it the custom of the Blessing of the Animals. This special ceremony remembers St. Francis’ love for all creatures and will take place during St. Mary’s 10:30 a.m. mass on Sunday, Oct. 7. All creatures great and small are welcomed to this spirited occasion to receive their blessing of well-being.
In years past, parishioners and visitors have brought dogs, cats and birds of all sizes to be blessed at the Episcopal Church of St. Mary-in-the-Highlands at 1 Chestnut St. in Cold Spring. The reader at last year’s blessing even cradled her angora rabbit while reading.
Since children will want to participate in the blessing of their special feathered or furry friends, Sunday School has been pre-empted on this day, but will resume the following Sunday, Oct. 14 as usual.
On the following weekend, St. Mary’s will hold its first-ever Oktoberfest dinner in the Parish Hall, starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13. Traditional German fare and libations will be served. The cost is $20 for adults, $10 for children 6-12 years of age.