The last time we tried to bless an exception, the minister almost lost an eye.

On the way at a meeting this morning, I saw this sign in front of a church.

The Blessing of the Animals

It’s cute, right? The blessing of animals? It’s a wonderful idea, if you’re into that sort of thing. (And by that sort of thing I mean religion, church, God.)

Heck, I vacillate between agnosticism and atheism but I would have taken my Sammy cat to church every Sunday if it meant he would have lived longer. So I understand that people for whom church is important would want to bless their furry family members.

And the giant green sign is great advertising for the animal blessing. A few more pets get blessed and maybe even the church will gain a few animal loving congregants.

I especially like the “all welcome!” That’s the way a church should be.

I’m not as fond of the “no exceptions” though.

Doesn’t “all welcome” cover it? Why the need to add no exceptions? There’s a story there.

It almost makes it sound like an exception is some sort of exotic animal that is so extremely dangerous it is not allowed in the church.

“All welcome, but no exceptions! The last time we tried to bless an exception, the minister almost lost an eye.”

But I know there is no such thing as a wild exception because I Googled it, so there must be a reason they wanted extra emphasis on all welcome.

I wonder who they have in mind with those words. What person might see “all welcome” and think, “They don’t mean me. I’m an exception.”

Maybe owners of certain kinds of pets would think the blessing didn’t apply to them. People with large snakes, for instance, might think it’s not appropriate to take them out in public and have them blessed.

(Bit of a side story here… when I went to New York City for one of the first times, there was a car sitting in Time Square with a huge snake on it. The windows were open and the snake was wrapped through the windows and over the roof as areally scary, live theft prevention device. That pet owner certainly had no problem bringing their snake out in public.)

I suppose people might discount small pets, mice and fish and the like. “My Fivel is just too small to be blessed. We certainly aren’t welcome.”

Or perhaps they want to encourage other denominations to have their pets blessed. Jewish Siamese and Buddhist Chihuahuas.

(As soon as I wrote that I realized that I’d really, really like to meet a Buddhist Chihuahua. Or start a band with that name.

Holy crap! I just went back to trusty old Google and there is a Buddhist Chihuahua! The hits for Jewish Siamese were all about conjoined twins, though.)

No matter if they were trying to make sure all religions or all animals were included, “no exceptions” seems like overkill. Or at least extremely repetitive.

Unless “all” has a different meaning in Episcopalian, they should have stopped there.


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