A service to give thanks for creation, with the blessing of animals, was held at Christ Church Cathedral, Newcastle, New South Wales on September 26 2010,  officiated by The Very Reverend Dr James Rigney, Dean of Newcastle.
The service was based on Animal Rites, Liturgies of Animal Care by Andrew Linzey.

Blessing the animals of The Good Samaritan Donkey Sanctuary

 Almighty God, we come together to thank you for the beauty and glory of
your creation; to praise you for your holiness and grace; to acknowledge our
responsibility to animals and for our use of the created world. But first we
pray for your forgiveness because of our part in sins of thoughtlessness and
cruelty towards animal life.

 We pray together:

Almighty God you have given us temporary lordship of your beautiful
creation. But we have misused our power, turned away from
responsibility and marred your image in us. Forgive us, true Lord,
especially for our callousness and cruelty to animals. Help us to follow
the way of your Son, Jesus Christ, who expressed power in humility
and lordship in loving service. Enable us, by your spirit, to walk in
newness of life, healing injury, avoiding wrong and making peace with
all your creatures.

 Readings came from Isaiah 11.6-9 (given by Jill Taylor, Hunter Koala Preservation Society) and Colossians 3.12, 14-16a, 17, read by our ASWA and personal friend, Olga Parkes, of Hunter River Animal Welfare Society, who played a large part in organising the service.

Also participating were representatives of the RSPCA.

 For animals neglected and ill-treated…

For animals hunted to death…

For animals exhibited for entertainment…

For animals killed for convenience…

For animals in crates and tethers…

For animals genetically manipulated…

For animals bought and sold in markets…

For animals suffering in laboratories…

For animals patented as inventions…

For animals slaughtered for food… Give us new hearts, O God.

O God, give us new hearts that we may feel again the suffering of our fellow creatures; deliver us from ourselves and the evil we inflict on the animal world.

From our denigration of animals…

From thinking of animals as things…

From our indifference to cruelty…

From our systematic exploitation of animals…

From treating animals as machines…

From our abdication of responsibility…

From our spiritual blindness…

From our shrunken sensibilities…

From our hardness of heart…  Free us, O Lord.

Liberating God, release us from that spiritual poverty that sees other creatures only as commodities for us and reduces them to things for our service.

Father James Rigney, Dean of Newcastle and Father Mark Watson, Canon Pastor blessed the animals:

Bless, O Lord, these creatures, and all who are involved in their care and protection.
May our awareness of their needs make us sensitive to the needs of every creature,
we ask this in the name of Jesus our Lord. Amen.

The Right Reverend Dr Brian Farran, Bishop of Newcastle:

God of manifold blessings, source of all that is good and true and holy, raise
us up to see the world through your eyes so that we may treasure each
blessed creature alive with your spirit and touched by your creative hand;
and may the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy
Spirit be upon us now and for ever. Amen.

 Acknowledgment of Copyright
Prayer, Confession and Absolution from Animal Rites, Liturgies of Animal Care by Andrew Linzey pp34-35. Litany, pp79-82. Concluding Prayers, pp42-43, Blessing and Dismissal, p31. Reproduced with kind permission. The text of the above is copyright Andrew Linzey 1999.

Smelling the flowers - by kind permission of Ray Drew

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