Animals receive blessing at annual service in Lufkin

Hundreds of animals were prayed for and blessed during an annual service on Sunday in Lufkin.

East Texans of all ages attended the annual blessing of the animals at St. Cyprian's Episcopal Church in Lufkin Sunday evening.

"We used to run this service at 10 o'clock in the morning during our normal church service and then we got a couple of our volunteers that said this is something that the whole community could get invested in," said St. Cyprian's Rector Art Callaham. "We attract two or 300 hundred people a year to come out who want to be a part of this community activity and have a blessing said for their pets."

For the past four years, East Texans have been invited to bring their pets to receive a blessing.

"I'm active in the humane society so I have been around a lot of animal lovers. So, we wanted to give this opportunity to the whole community and it's been wonderful," said church member Elaine Hunter.

Church members celebrated St. Francis day learning about the patron saint of animals while many others learned how their pets play a big role in their everyday lives.

"St. Francis who taught back in the twelfth and thirteenth century used animal metaphors to teach spirituals things," Callaham said. "I still think today we can learn a lot of spirituals truths from our pet's patience, and dependency, love, and tolerance while enjoying God's creation."

All animals had the opportunity to be prayed for on Sunday.

The Haney family is loyal attendees of the blessing service and say they enjoy seeing what new things will be added each year.

"My kids love all the side attractions; the face painting, the horse rides. They just have a ball," Haney said.

It's still unknown if the pets, kids, or pet owners enjoy the blessing of the animals the most.

Callaham said the church's goal is to engage more people in the Lufkin community each year to come out and celebrate the roles their pets play in their lives.

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