St Matthew’s Parish Church, Belfast, held a special service for pets on September 1, with 15 dogs coming along for praise and blessing.
The congregation at St Matthew’s is joined every week by Buzz, Rex, Bracken, Rio and new puppy Millie, and this special service was an opportunity for more parishioners to bring their pets along.
The service also attracted some new people of the two legged variety, accompanied by their pets. Among the attendees was a serving Guide Dog for the Blind.
The rector, the Rev Tracey McRoberts, said: “A service of the blessing of pets is a wonderful opportunity to thank God for the gift of animals, and for us to ask God’s blessing on all that He has made.
“Let us give thanks to God our Father for all his gifts for the beauty of the earth and the wonder of His creation, in earth and sky and sea. For all that is gracious in the lives of men and women. For all creatures that breathe, and move, and have life. For the trust you have shown in giving into our care these, our pets.
“For the work of Guide Dogs for the Blind and all organisations which protect animals, that each pet here may be treasured with care. We thank you Lord.”
At the end of the service, all the pets received an individual blessing.