Churchgoers Bring Camels, Sloths, Ducks to Blessing of the Animals Ceremony
If you’re an animal lover, prepare to be obsessed with an event that took place at New York City’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Sunday.
Hint: it involved the most delightfully chaotic procession of animals we’ve ever seen.
The church celebrated The Feast of St. Francis of Assisi on Sunday, October 1 by inviting people to their annual Blessing of the Animals ceremony. Calling the event a “beloved Cathedral tradition,” the church brought worship, dance, music, and yes, their unique “Procession of Animals.”
And while tons of dogs and cats attended, we also got a slew of ducks, camels, sloths, and even crocodiles. As they say, all creatures great and small!
In Christianity, The Feast of St. Francis of Assisi honors the patron saint of animals, the environment, and ecology. It traditionally takes place on October 4 and can be accompanied at church around the same time by the Blessing of the Animals ceremony.
One thing we weren’t expecting NYC’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine to do, though? As one TikTok commenter hilariously put it, invite the most “absolutely unhinged assortment of animals” we’ve ever seen.
This NYC cathedral’s “Blessing of the Animals” ceremony welcomed camels, sloths and more
Several perfect videos posted about the Cathedral of St. John the Divine’s annual event show the chaos of their animal procession.
A TikTok video shared by @newyorknico gives us drama, randomness, laughs and tears. We see churchgoers bringing all kinds of animals to be blessed by the church, including an unrelenting donkey (not into it), a chicken, fluffy dogs everywhere, a duck with his own seat, a bald cat, a snake, and a smiling crocodile.
We even get a sloth in a blanket waiting to be #blessed, and a camel. And by the end, we see the boxed ashes of a pet named “Foxy”… and we’re not crying, you are.
Another TikTok video posted by @mickmicknyc gives us even more delightful content. Apparently, just around the same time as the sloth, the procession also included a lemur… and what seems to be an emu.
Cathedral of St. John the Divine’s Blessing of the Animals ceremony is a longstanding New York City tradition. However, as per some outlets, the church was forced to pause the event after a Cathedral fire in 2019— and then the pandemic.
The furry (and scaly) event came back in a big way this year, and people were pumped.
“While the animals do bring us great pleasure, the real purpose of the procession is to recognize and give glory to God,” the Very Reverend Patrick Malloy of the church said in a statement. “For the wonders of animals great and small and in the spirit of Saint Francis.”
As one X user put it, these processions are the perfect time to bring your “dog, cat, bird, fish, hamster”… or hey, your camel!
Many churches honored St. Francis with their own animal blessing ceremonies
New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine had an extra-notable Blessing of the Animals ceremony this year, because… well, the sloths, crocodiles, and snakes.
Still, several other churches held similar ceremonies this week, with many people reminiscing on the adorable event:
Some churches also chose to celebrate the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi on Sunday, October 1, inviting animals far and wide to get their blessings. So. Many. Pups!
Still, others chose to keep their own ceremonies outdoors, and some even got a goat or two:
Meanwhile, one church got “two Valais Blacknose sheep”… and a tiny hamster:
And yes, more photos of pets getting blessed— because why not?
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