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Hudson -- Pets and their human companions attended the annual Blessing of the Animals Oct. 9 at Christ Church Episcopal.
They gathered in front of the church, where there was a short service in the Memorial Garden, then each animal received an individual blessing from the Rev. Charlotte Collins Reed.
She said there are several purposes for the Blessing of the Animals.
"First, the blessing is usually held on or around the Feast of St. Francis, which is Oct. 4," she said. "He was known as a great friend of animals.
"Secondly, the blessing recognizes that animals are beloved creatures of God and we are called to care for them as such," the Rev. Reed said. "Lastly, animals are beloved family members and the blessing gives the human members of the family a liturgical way to recognize that."
About 25 people attended the ceremony with their pets of all types. Susan Mailey brought her dog, Rudy. Eileen Gaston attended with and her cat, Scout. So did Erika DeYoung and her sheep, which typically do not have names.
One woman even brought the urns with the ashes of her three dogs to be blessed.
"That was probably the most touching moment of all," Reed said.
While Reed is new to the church, she is proud to take part in her first Blessing of the Animals, which is an ongoing tradition there.
"We had a nice response from the community," she said.