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Duke Chapel Blessing of the Animals Service Oct. 6
Durham, NC - Duke Chapel ministers will be prepared to bless dogs, cats, hamsters and other pets at the chapel's annual Blessing of the Animals service 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6.
The service on the lawn in front of the chapel will last 30 minutes and feature performances by the Durham Children's Choir, scripture readings and a reflection by the Rev. McKennon Shea, director of admissions at the Divinity School. Individual animal blessings will take place immediately after the service.
"This service is a comfort," said Meghan Feldmeyer, director of worship at the chapel. "It acknowledges the sacred role that pets have in our lives."
Limited parking is available in front of the chapel for those with large animals; trailers are permitted in convenient spaces. Other parking is available in the Bryan Center surface lot and the Bryan Center parking deck.
Duke will provide water for the animals, which should be under their owners' control at all times. Guests are asked to consider the wisdom of bringing any potentially aggressive animal to the event.
Since 1989, Duke Chapel ministers have blessed a menagerie of pets at the annual service, including horses, iguanas, snakes, ferrets, hedgehogs, calves, goats, sheep, goldfish and grasshoppers. Animals of all kinds are welcome to this service every October on the Sunday closest to the Feast Day of St. Francis.
St. Francis, a 13th century Italian Catholic friar who lived a life of voluntary poverty, is most notably known for his love of animals. He is the namesake for the current Pope Francis. St. Francis believed in the ability and duty of all creatures to worship God. For that reason, worship gatherings similar to Duke's are held at churches across the country.
The rain date for this event is 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13.
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