A Virtual Blessing of the Animals at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine




The Blessing of the Animals, St. John the Divine, October, 2017

The Feast of Saint Francis is Sunday, October 3rd and with it, The Cathedral of St. John the Divine will hold the annual Blessing of the Animals from 10am to 4pm. The Cathedral invites the public to a day of music, prayer, joy, blessings and fun in honor of Saint Francis, the patron saint of animals and the environment. While we cannot gather in person this year for the Service or the Outdoor Fair, we’re excited to offer an online extravaganza that will include pet blessings, children’s activities, and a behind-the-scenes look at the history of one of our most beloved days of the year!

Blessing of the Animals, St. John the Divine, October, 2017

Below are times for the premiere events:

These new videos will premiere throughout the day. Each video will be available beginning at its scheduled time and will remain available to view throughout the day.

10 am – BBC Sacred Wonders: Feast of Saint Francis 2018

In 2018, the BBC filmed the Feast of Saint Francis for Sacred Wonders, a series exploring what people do for faith in the most spectacular sacred places on the planet. This segment, pulled from the second episode, captures a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into planning our in-person Blessing of the Animals. To watch the full series, visit https://www.pbs.org/show/earths-sacred-wonders/

11 am – A Service of the Word

Major composers are featured in a voluntary ahead of the service, starting 5 to 10 minutes before. All are welcome to join us for this service of worship. The Right Reverend Andrew ML Dietsche, Bishop of New York, will offer the sermon.

12 pm – Blessing of the Animals

Join Bishop Dietsche, Dean Daniel, and members of the Cathedral community far and wide to honor the Earth, celebrate the animal kingdom, and bless the pets we love.

1 pm – Who Really Was Saint Francis?

Christians worldwide venerate St. Francis, the patron saint of animals and the environment. But how much do you know about the historical Francis of Assisi? The Rev. Canon Patrick Malloy, Sub-Dean of the Cathedral, sits down to talk with friars from the Society of Saint Francis about Saint Francis as a radical reformer and how they live out his mission today.

2 pm – A Sneak Peek at The Close as an Oasis

The Cathedral’s Close serves as an 11-acre urban oasis for humans and animals alike. The Cathedral’s peacocks are some of its most well-known inhabitants, but the Close also fosters the survival of red-tailed hawks, pigeons, and other birds of all kinds. Meet the organizations and individuals helping to care for and protect the feathered denizens of this sacred space. This short video previews a longer documentary about the animal life on the Close.

Blessing of the Animals at St John the Divine, September 2017

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine is located at 1027 Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street in Morningside Heights, NY. Have you seen The Cathedral Peacocks (and other furry friends)? Take a look inside the Cathedral at the AIDS Memorial Quilt and ‘The Life of Christ’ artwork by Keith Haring. To maintain the Cathedral’s Barberini tapestries, a textile conservation lab was built ~ and you can take a tour.

The Gardens Conservancy and Peace Fountain

Step next door to The Cathedral Gardens Conservancy Close and Peace Fountain.

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine Blessing of the Animals Live Stream Here.