Don't forget to bless the animals this Christmas
Another kind of blessing
The first witnesses of the Holy Family: Joseph, Mary and Jesus were the animals in the stable in Bethlehem when the Savior was born. They were the unrelenting characters that paid respect to the Son of God.
It’s a very good practice and tradition to give tribute and gifts to these beasts that played an important role in the humble stable in Bethlehem. There are many stories and true accounts about the blessings of the animals. Some good practices in many churches involve bringing of the pet animals during Christmas Eve. Many children and adults, as well, participate in the blessings of their pets.
During the great potato famine in the rural area in Ireland, the residents always put some goodies to their animals in the stables, no matter how poor they were.
How do we bless the animals?
We can learn this message by heart, “You are a faithful friend,” you will say. By saying this, you can start petting each animal fondly while asking for this: “We ask the blessings of the animals, in Jesus’ name.”
You can check to see that each animal has fresh water and clean bedding in the stable. If you have horses and colts, you can give apples, carrots, oats and hay. The pigs should be given extra mash and chopped vegetables. You can give extra food to your cats and kittens and also to your dogs, if ever you have these pets.
In many church denominations, many pet lovers bring their animals to the church in order to be blessed. What a lovely feeling it is to see these creatures being brought to the church, not only to be blessed, but to be counted as important witnesses to the coming of the Son of God thousands of years ago.
Before and After the Great Flood
Noah and his family became the first witnesses that God really loved His creations, especially the animals, aside from humans. He directed Noah to make the Ark and house every pair of animals that occupied the Earth. The account precisely told us that every living thing known to Man made their way to the Ark as guided by the unseen hands of God.
So, when the Great Flood came, all pairs of animals were secured inside the Ark until the end of the turbulent forty days and forty nights of punishment to our sinful ancestors.
Animals do give us warnings. Noah directed two kinds of birds, the crow and the dove. As the story of the two birds had been retold too many times to me during my elementary grades, the crow feasted on decaying human flesh and animal carcasses, but the dove obediently return to the ark carrying a twig with leaf sprout indicating that there are already life growing again on Earth.
Prayers on Blessing of Animals
Whether they're healthy or sick, there are prayers you can utter when blessing the animals. All churches have a standard prayers for them, but when you are far from the church, you can pray silently about the health of your pets.
Animals do help us, for comfort and security, so it's just rightful to give them the respect they needed coming from us.
For further readings:
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Blessing of the Animals
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