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Blessing the Animals

SkyLight Paths Publishing

RRP $19.99

 Reviewed by Rev Lucie Bennett, an animal lover who enjoys spending time contemplating nature and what it can teach us about God.

 As the title suggests Blessing the Animals: Prayers and ceremonies to celebrate God’s creatures, wild and tame is a collection of poetry, prayers and prose from a variety of spiritual traditions on various species of the animal kingdom.

The book is divided into four parts focussing on blessings for companion and wild animals, blessings from animals and rituals and ceremonies.

Each section is preceded by an introduction by Ms Caruso which provides food for thought in itself.

The items are taken from spiritual traditions ranging from those of the native American Indians to Christianity, Hindu and many other diverse areas.

Blessing the Animals would be a good resource book for parents wondering what to say when their child is distraught over the death of a pet or even a grasshopper, for anyone wanting to hold a service of blessing for pets, and anyone who loves animals and enjoys being stretched in their spiritual life.

These poems, prayers and prose provide much food for reflection on nature’s creator.

In a way we are drawn into looking closely at the animal world (God’s creation) and thereby drawn into looking closely at ourselves and our relationship with the one who created us.

As we plumb the hidden depths with the poet we are encouraged to plumb the hidden depths of our own being.