Q. 1. What can you tell me about the Catholic practice of blessing animals?
A. 1. The "Blessing of Animals," either farm or pets, can be found in the Book of Blessings. You can find this book in the sacristy of Catholic Churches or you can buy it from the Liturgical Press.
The Blessing is normally celebrated on the Feast of St. Francis who is the patron of animals.
There are a number of blessings available. The following is an example from the "New St. Joseph People's Prayer Book."
Blessing of an Animal
Almighty and Generous Providence,
how great the variety of living things
You have put at our disposal!
You told our first parents:
"I give you all the animals of the land."
Some can be used as food,
or for labor or transportation,
but also for our companionship and recreation.
Bless this animal.
May it carry out the function it has been given
and may it aid us to think of You its Creator
and give praise and thanks to You forever.
We ask this in the name of Jesus our Lord.
If a large number of pets is expected, the blessing should be done outdoors to ensure that the situation will not get chaotic, nor the Church have a large mess to clean afterwards. Farm animals can be blessed at the farm by arranging a visit of the Catholic priest for that purpose.