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Duke in Pictures: Blessing of a Horse
Durham, NC - The service ran like any other, but when the minister asked for the response, she got the yelping and barks of dogs. The two turtles and the horse remained silent.
It was the 22th Blessing of the Animals service Sunday held outside Duke Chapel in windy but sunny conditions. Held around the world near the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, the outdoor service is meant to remind humans of the contributions their pets make to their spiritual lives.
The service included a homily, readings from Psalms and Genesis and singing from the Durham Children's Choir. Information booths staffed by local animal protection and welfare groups were also on hand.
At the end of the ceremony, a number of ministers went into the audience to give short blessings to each of the animals on hand.
Duke Chapel has hosted the service since 1989. The worship tradition was made notable by the service of the Cathedral of St. John the Devine in New York city, which in the past has attracted camels and circus animals.
As with past ceremonies, the participants at the Duke ceremony were an eclectic group. A blind cat was held closely by its owner. Two turtles sat calmly during the service until at one point they made a run for the Chapel steps.
Photos by Megan Morr
Above, Father Mike, left, blesses Santino, center, a King Charles Spaniel, while Sy Bui, far right, and Christine Bui look on.
|Below top, Rose Williams, left, holds her dog, Muffi, and Bernadette Langhorne, right, holds her dog, Empress Langhorne, during the Blessing of Animals service. Bottom, Faith Gardner pets her pony Rocky while attending the service.|
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