Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Blessings and Prayers for Pets

Have you seen the movie Marley and Me yet? If you have, or if you've read the book, you realize that at the end of the film there's a very touching graveside ceremony where the Grogans bid farewell to their longtime companion. It's a wonderful scene, with the three children each reading something they wrote and putting something into the grave with their beloved pet.

As the Grogans realized, and as we who have mourned the death of a companion animal know, the passing of a pet is not an event to be ignored or trivialized. A memorial ceremony is a sacred event, whether for dogs or cats or even lizards and snakes, because the love we have for our pets is itself sacred.
Here are a few prayers that you might use for a pet memorial:

Apprehend God in all things, for God is in all things.
Every single creature is full of God
and is a book about God.
Every creature is a word of God.
--Meister Eckhart

They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death is but crossing the world, as friends do the seas; they live in one another still.
--William Penn
The grave itself is but a
covered bridge
Leading from light to light,
through a brief darkness.
--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I am the self abiding
in the heart of all creatures;
I am their beginning,
their middle and their end.
Know that my brilliance,
flaming in the sun,
in the moon, and in fire,
illumines this whole universe.

There is not a beast on earth, nor fowl that flieth on two wings, but they are a people like unto you, and to God they shall return.
--The Koran

We should understand well that all things are the work of the Great Spirit. We should know the Great Spirit is within all things: the trees, the grasses, the rivers, the mountains, and the four-legged and winged peoples; and even more important, we should understand that the Great Spirit is also above all these things and peoples. When we do understand all this deeply in our hearts, then we will fear, and love, and know the Great Spirit, and then we will be and act and live as the Spirit intends.
--Black Elk

For the fate of humans and the fate of animals is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and humans have no advantage over the animals; for all is vanity. All go to one place; all are from the dust, and all turn to dust again. Who knows whether the human spirit goes upwards and the spirit of animals goes downwards to the earth? So I saw that there is nothing better than that all should enjoy their work, for that is their lot; who can bring them to see what will be after them?
--Ecclesiastes 3:19-22

Set me as a seal upon your heart,

as a seal upon your arm;

for love is strong as death,

passion fierce as the grave.

Its flashes are flashes of fire,

a raging flame.

Many waters cannot quench love,

neither can floods drown it.

--Song of Songs 8:6-7

Death is nothing at all
I have only slipped away into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other
That we are still
Call me by my old familiar name
Speak to me in the easy way you always used
Put no difference into your tone
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed
At the little jokes we always enjoyed together
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was
Let it be spoken without effort
Without the ghost of a shadow in it
Life means all that it ever meant
It is the same as it ever was
There is absolute unbroken continuity
What is death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind
Because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you for an interval
Somewhere very near
Just around the corner
All is well.
Nothing is past; nothing is lost
One brief moment and all will be as it was before
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!
--Canon Henry Scott-Holland

For more quotations as well as descriptions of memorial and blessing ceremonies, you may find the following book useful: We Thank You, God, for These: Blessings and Prayers for Family Pets.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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