On Sunday, October 7, 2018 congregations around the world will celebrate something that St. Francis of Assisi started almost 800 years ago which we now know as the Blessing of the Animals. This calendar day was chosen because the Feast of St. Francis (the day that he died) is recognized every year on October 4, and the Blessing of the Animals Service is usually scheduled on the Sunday closest to that day in October. This year Calvary Lutheran Church will observe this important activity and will gather at 4:00 p.m. on the front lawn for a Service of the Blessing of the Animals. Everyone is invited to bring their pet/animal companion as we gather to recognize God’s gift of animals both big and small; and bless them asking for God’s favor and protection.
As we await this important day the following prayer, known as the Prayer of St. Francis, is a perfect prayer to remember as we seek to live our lives for Christ. Scripture teaches us to “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:6. The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi reminds us how we can accomplish this teaching as we seek to live like Christ and serve those around us, putting others’ needs first.
The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi
Lord, make us instruments of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is discord, union;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that we may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in all ways. The Lord be with all of you. 2 Thessalonians 3:16