Yes Lord, look down from Your holy swelling place and bless all these animals, as you blessed the flock of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and of all Your faithful servants. Multiply them, grant them health, strength and productivity; render them robust and successful in the various services which they render so that their owners, having derived abundant benefits from them, may engage in all good works which are pleasing to You, and may glorify on earth Your Holy Name, of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.Excerpt from the Prayer of St. Modestos
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I trust and pray you are well and are enjoying this busy and blessed season in preparation for the Nativity of the Incarnate Logos – the Birth of Christ. As you receive this message, you will notice that there are several attachments. Each one of them represents important activities, programs, opportunities and services. To be sure, there is a flurry of activity taking place now and in the coming days.
Please take the time to thoroughly read through your Bulletin and the attached fliers. They all serve a purpose.
However, I would like to call your attention to this Saturday’s service; our annual St. Modestos Pet Blessing.
No doubt, this is not the most critically important service in our liturgical calendar. But make no mistake, it is important. St. Modestos was not an obscure, historical figure from an insignificant place, in a by-gone time. He was the Patriarch of Jerusalem and a highly respected and beloved hierarch of the Church. He came to be known as the Patron Saint of Animals, not so much for a dedication to the environment, but rather through pastoral concern for his flock. As they attended to, well, their flocks. Or their herds, or their heads of cattle.
Living in an agricultural society, St. Modestos understood that people’s livelihood and security revolved around the care and health of their animals. He understood that Christ sanctifies all of creation and the relationship between human kind and the irrational beasts helps to refine our stewardship for the world entrusted to us.
We have a responsibility to respect, care for, protect and yes, even pray for the well-being of all God’s creatures. We are all placed upon this earth to live in harmony and tend to the delicate balance that is natural life.
That is not to say, that our own household pets are excluded from such prayers. Our pets are members of our families. They bring us joy, they avail us the opportunity to bear responsibility and they bring out the best in our humanity.
Service animals, police animals, rescue animals and comfort animals do their jobs – just the same as you and me. They undergo training, are subject to testing and are formally under review – just like many of us at work. We pray for their health and abilities to keep us safe, peaceful and secure.
This Saturday at 2:00 pm in the church parking lot, we will come together and pray for our pets. As cute as the gathering may be (and it is extremely cute) it is still a legitimate prayer service. I did not author the prayers or make up the words. It’s in my Priest’s Service Book. It is an opportunity to thank God for the blessings He bestows upon us, the creative ways in which He brings us joy, and the celebration of companionship and family.
Even if you don’t have a cat or a dog…or a fish or a gerbil or a lizard,…feel free to join us for a lovely afternoon.
I also ask that you bring a monetary donation that will be sent to the Humane Society of Utah in support of their precious work.
I look forward to seeing you in front of the fire hydrant on Saturday morning.
With Love in Christ,
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I pray you a blessed Feast of St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra in Lycia the Wonder Worker, tomorrow, December 6th! Many Years! Chronia Polla to all who celebrate!The Orthros begins at 8:00 am followed by the Divine Liturgy at 9:00 am.
His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah will be with us this Sunday, to celebrate in anticipation of the Feast of the Conception of the Theotokos by St. Anna.
Sunday Evening, December 8th at 7:00 pm we will celebrate Great Vespers for the Feast of the Conception of the Theotokos by St. Anna.
Monday Morning, December 9th we will celebrate the Feast of the Conception of the Theotokos by St. Anna.
Please refer to the following graphic which illustrates our Holiday Schedule for 2019-2020.