PORTLAND – Several Portland area churches held their annual “Blessing of the Animals” ceremony Sunday.
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, at SW 14th Avenue and SW Clay Street, held the event immediately after its 10:00 service, according to the church’s Laura Watkins.
Animals and their humans paraded from the church, down SW Clay Street, to the South Park Blocks, where the ceremony took place.
At St. Paul's Episcopal in Oregon City, a blessing went out to Moses the Camel. He was pulled from a mud hole a year ago by emergency crews.
The ceremony is held each year to observe the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, who was the patron saint of animals.
Watkins said it’s “intended to remind us of the special place that our animals occupy in our lives and hearts.”
This year’s observance included a reading of the names of animals who were sick or who have passed on in the past year.
Similar ceremonies were held across the country.