Wednesday, October 05, 2005

st. francis day

we celebrated st. francis day at my church, holy trinity this past sunday. we have a special tradition of blessing animals. people from all over the neighborhood bring their pets to be blessed. people always think that nyc is no place for a dog. apartments are small. most people are at work all day and a dog needs to be outdoors a lot. i once heard a stand-up wondering why he chooses to live in a way not fit for a dog!
but for every third new yorker, there is a dog. and in the upper east side it's an even higher ratio. i think here there are two dogs for every human! when i'm not home, my dog sleeps. that's it. i once moved from a two bedroom to a studio and i had two big dogs. i thought, how will they manage in a small space? and then i realized, dogs are always in the same room with their human. it's not like they're off wandering around the east wing or something. it worked out just fine.
i can't tell you how packed our church is on st. francis day with all those upper east siders and their pets. dogs, cats, turtles, birds, ferrets, pictures of pets who either can't leave home or have died. it's amazing. and you know, they all quiet down after the initial hub-bub of the procession. animals really like church. our church is kind of dark, so that's soothing for former cave dwelling dogs and for the birds.
i brought my dog, music. normally my mother would be with music in the pews and i would acolyte. there's a run on teens at my church so acolytes are mostly adults. i've been acolyting since i was 12. it got my interested in church (i get to wear a costume and look like an angel and everyone is looking at me! cool!) and i've enjoyed being an active part of the liturgy ever since. now that my mother is gone, i thought i would bring music to acolyte with me. after all, we have dog ushers on st. francis day and now that music is a dog of a certain age, she is mellow enough to handle it. she's certainly used to church. we are allowed to bring our dogs to church any sunday, for most services, so i bring her a lot.
soon as i get the one picture someone took for me ( i forgot my own camera!) i'll post it. i found a child's cotta (sp?) and put it over music's head and pulled her paws through the arm holes so she could be "vested". she looked so freakin' cute! i always thought i'd have kids who would become acolytes at holy trinity so this is the next best thing. mommy's little acolyte! i'm so proud.
st. francis is such a cool saint. i don't know much about him, i know there are st. francis fans out there who know him backwards and forwards. i just dig what he said about preach the gospels, use words if necessary. and the st. francis prayer kicks butt.
Lord, make us instruments
of your peace.
Where there is hatred
let us sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, union;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.

Grant that we may not
so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood
as to understand;
To be loved as to love.

For it is in giving
that we receive;
It is in pardoning
that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are
born to eternal life.



Natty said...

I so love that you can and do bring your dog to church with you!!

Thought you might be interested in the following new webring... I'd love to see you and your nunly-blogging friends on it!

SisterBloggers: Catholic Sisters, women in formation, those discerning a religious vocation and others who want to join the conversation.;action=list

I know she says Catholic, but I hope it can open that to all you lovely Episcopalian nuns and wanna-be's? I don't own it, so it's not my call. But I think your blog as well as the other Sisters you link to, all fit.

Susan Rose, CSJP said...

SisterBloggers is now inclusive of ALL sisters & wanna be sisters (Catholic & Episcopal ... are there otehrs?)

Hope you'll join!

NotShyChiRev said...

This year was my second time leading the blessing of the animals...and the first one when it was a rainy day....
All those wonderful dogs, cats, and teddy bears (yes, teddy bears), wet and a bit smelly in the basement...and it was so wonderful to have folks who don't darken the door of ANY church seeking to honor their companions...

Vickie said...

Dear Sr. Jen,

Somehow I lost your email address but I have a question which others may find interesting as well.

How do you feel about joining an aging community of small numbers?

I am discerning a call as well and this weighs heavily on my mind, especially when I am sitting in the Motherhouse during Mass.