By Larry Austin
Island Dispatch Editor
The fifth annual pet blessing at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church on Saturday drew its largest participation of pet-lovers, according to event organizers.
The brief event took place in the front of the church and included singing "All Things Bright and Beautiful," prayers and blessing of approximately 20 animals. The pet blessing coincided with the celebration of the feast of St. Francis, patron saint of animals.
The Rev. Earle King thanked God for "making the animals to brighten our lives," and offered the blessings in the name of the father, who thought up the giraffe and the zebra, and of the son who was named after the white lamb, and the Holy Spirit, who came as a dove.
St. Martin's parishioner Paula Macrides organized the annual blessing in conjunction with an ongoing pet food drive. Those who wish to give pet food to the Episcopal food pantry at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Buffalo can drop off donations to St. Martin's until Sunday, Oct. 9.
Macrides said this year was the biggest participation for the event at St. Martin's, which she called a "church full of dog-lovers."
"It just seemed like a natural thing to do."