St. Francis, by Margaritone d'Arezzo, 13th century

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An Order for the Blessing of Animals
on the
Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi

Lasst uns erfreuen

All creatures of our God and King,
lift up your voices, let us sing:
       Alleluia, alleluia!
Bright burning sun with golden beams,
pale silver moon that gently gleams,

         O praise him, O praise him,
          Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Great rushing winds and breezes soft,
you clouds that ride the heavens aloft,
       O praise him, alleluia!
Fair rising morn, with praise rejoice,
stars nightly shining, find a voice,


Swift flowing water, pure and clear,
make music for your Lord to hear,
       Alleluia, alleluia!
Fire, so intense and fiercely bright,
you give to us both warmth and light,


Let all things their creator bless,
and worship him in humbleness,
       O praise him, alleluia!
Praise God the Father, praise the Son,
and praise the Spirit, Three in One:


(from Hymn 400 (vv. 1-3,7), The Hymnal 1982)

Opening Acclamation

Blessed be God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
And blessed be his Kingdom, now and for ever. Amen.


O all ye works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord;
praise him and magnify him for ever.
O ye mountains and hills, bless ye the Lord;
praise him and magnify him for ever.
O all ye green things upon the earth, bless ye the Lord;
praise him and magnify him for ever.
O ye seas and floods, bless ye the Lord;
praise him and magnify him for ever.
O ye whales and all that move in the waters, bless ye the Lord;
praise him and magnify him for ever.
O all ye fowls of the air, bless ye the Lord;
praise him and magnify him for ever.
O all ye beasts and cattle, bless ye the Lord;
praise him and magnify him for ever.
O ye children of men, bless ye the Lord;
praise him and magnify him for ever.
Let us bless the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit;
praise him and magnify him for ever.

(from Benedicite, omnia opera Domini)

The Collect of the Day

The Lord be with you.
And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.

Most high, omnipotent, good Lord: Grant unto thy people grace to renounce gladly the vanities of this world; that, following the way of blessed Francis, we may for love of thee delight in thy whole creation with perfectness of joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(Collect of the Day for Francis of Assisi, Lesser Feasts and Fasts)


Genesis 1:20-25

A Bidding

Not only do the animals of God's creation inhabit the skies, the earth, and the sea, they share in the fortunes of the human race and play important roles in everyday life. Animals also appear throughout the Bible as participants in the story of salvation and as reminders of Godís love for us and for all of creation. In the story of creation, it took two days for God to create all of the animals and, when God destroyed the world by flood, he took special care to save the animals along with Noah and his family on the Ark. The paschal lamb is the sign of the deliverance of Israel from bondage in Egypt and also the type of Jesus Christ himself who saves all humankind from bondage to sin. A whale saved Jonah from drowning; ravens brought bread to Elijah; a little dog accompanied Tobias on his journey and a fish provided him with healing and protection; and a humble donkey carried Jesus into Jerusalem as a sign of his kingship over the whole world. Throughout history, as a sign of the fact that animals share in Christ's redemption of all of God's creation, animals have been the friends of Godís people. St. Francis of Assisi even preached to the birds and tamed a wolf that had been terrorizing the people of Gubbio. Therefore we pray for all animals and, invoking the intercession of St. Francis and all of the saints, we ask Godís blessing on these animals which are our companions. As we do, let us praise our Creator and pray for the grace to honor and care for the world which he has given into our care.

(Adapted from The Roman Ritual - The Book of Blessings)

A Litany for God's Creatures

God the Father, Creator of all,
Have mercy upon us.

God the Son, Lamb of God,
Have mercy upon us.

God the Holy Spirit, descending like a dove,
Have mercy upon us.

Holy Trinity, One God, the true Life of all,
Have mercy upon us.

Holy Mary, who cradled her Son in the manger of the ox and the ass,
Pray for us.

Holy David, shepherd of Israel,
Pray for us.

Holy Elijah, fed by ravens,
Pray for us.

Holy Jonah, rescued by a whale,
Pray for us.

Holy Peter, called to repentance by a rooster,
Pray for us.

Holy Andrew, the fisherman,
Pray for us.

Holy Paul, spared from the sting of the asp,
Pray for us.

Holy Jerome, who tamed a lion,
Pray for us.

Holy Hubert, beholding his Lord in a vision borne by a stag,
Pray for us.

Holy George, saintly horseman and slayer of the dragon,
Pray for us.

Holy Brigid of Kildare, patroness of cattle,
Pray for us.

Holy Sergius of Radonezh, befriended by a bear,
Pray for us.

Holy Martin of Tours, called to do God's will by the honking of a goose,
Pray for us.

Holy Bernard of Menthon, whose dogs rescue the lost in the alpine passes,
Pray for us.

Holy Julian of Norwich, whose companion was a cat,
Pray for us.

Holy Francis of Assisi, who preached to the birds and tamed the wolf of Gubbio,
Pray for us.

All holy friends of all that live in earth, and sea, and sky,
Pray for us.

For the good earth which God has given us, and for the wisdom and will to conserve it, and for peace, health, happiness, justice, and good will among all its creatures, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For Godís mercy and protection upon all animals, and especially those that are injured or abused, hungry or deserted, lost or dying, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For grateful hearts and gentle hands and for a spirit of respect and wonder for the animals entrusted to our care, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For Godís blessing on the animals who give us their loyal companionship and continually remind us of Godís unconditional love for us and all creation, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, eternal King, for making every creature that liveth in earth and sea and sky. Blessed art thou for thy servant Francis who called them all his brothers and sisters. By the power of thy love, enable every creature to live according to thy plan. May all thy works for ever praise thee, O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

(Adapted from a prayer on

Blessing of the Animals

The Officiant blesses each animal, sprinkling it
with holy water, if desired, and says:

[Name], I bless you in the Name of the Holy and Undivided Trinity who made us all.  May you be healthy and live in harmony with all God's creatures.  Amen.

Royal Oak

All things bright and beautiful,
   all creatures great and small,
all things wise and wonderful,  
   the Lord God made them all.

Each little flower that opens,
   each little bird that sings,
he made their glowing colors,
   he made their tiny wings.


The purple-headed mountain,
   the river running by,
the sunset, and the morning
   that brightens up the sky.



The cold wind in the winter,
   the pleasant summer sun,
the ripe fruits in the garden,
   he made them every one.


He gave us eyes to see them,
   and lips that we might tell,
how great is God Almighty,
   who has made all things well.


     (Hymn 405, The Hymnal 1982)


Clairvaux du Nouvel Hermitage
Sister Whale
Holy Myrrhbearers' rooster
Brother Moose
Sister Bat and baby
Holy Myrrhbearers' Maude
New Skete puppies
Sister Chickadee
Brother Wolf
Peredur ap Cyrus
Holy Myrrhbearers' goat
Annie and Augie
Holy Myrrhbearers' lamb
Brother Lion
Sister Seal
Brother Eagle
San Francisco by Margarito Mondragon

Click here for more whale songs from the Ocean Mammal Institute