Blessings of the animals have become a tradition in many churches. A generation of young adults has grown up with them. And yet this tradition is relatively new. It does have some earlier antecedents, but in its current form, and as a Protestant practice, it’s only thirty years old or so. I’ve wondered why it caught on so quickly, why Protestants find it a good idea, and what kind of “cultural work” it does. Here is a short column that considers these questions. For more, see the book, of course.
It’s the season for blessings of the animals – the time around the feast day of St. Francis, October 4. This is largely a Protestant tradition, and Protestants these days are holding other blessing services as well, for bicycles, backpacks, chainsaws and more. But when did Protestants start blessing things? And why?
Read more about it here: