St. Andrew's in Destin announces Blessing of the Animals Oct. 3

Special to Gannett
The Blessing of the Animals is scheduled for 3 p.m. Oct. 3 at St. Andrew’s By-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Destin.

DESTIN — St. Andrew’s By-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Destin invites everyone – and their pets – to its Blessing of the Animals at 3 p.m. Oct. 3.

Pets of all sorts are invited to bring their owners. All pets should be on leashes or in kennels, cages or aquariums, as appropriate.

The blessing will take place under the cross in the circle in the parking lot at back of the church. It is accessible off Mountain Drive. Everyone is encouraged to BYOC (Bring Your Own Chair). A brief worship service will precede the blessings. The church's clergy will bless each animal individually. In the event of inclement weather, the blessing will take place in the parish hall.

St. Andrew’s asks that everyone who can to bring unopened dog or cat food for our food ministry. Many of the needy who seek assistance at St. Andrew’s Blue Door Ministry have pets that need our help as well.

The Blessing of the Animals is inspired by the annual remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi on Oct. 4. St. Francis had a deep love of creation and nature. Tradition says he preached to birds and persuaded a wolf to leave a community’s livestock alone if the town agreed to feed the wolf. He, thus, is considered a patron saint of caring for animals.

St. Andrew’s By-the-Sea, 307 Harbor Blvd. in Destin, is a dynamic Episcopal Church, intentionally diverse, sustained by sacramental worship, serving the community since 1928 in Christ’s name both within and without its walls. The Episcopal Church is part of the Anglican Communion, which boasts 80 million members in 160 countries around the world.