Ascension Lutheran Church hosts Blessing of the Animals Oct. 4

Ascension Lutheran Church each fall hosts a special ceremony called the Blessing of the Animals. This year, the event takes place during the 10 a.m. worship in the sanctuary of the church on Sunday, Oct. 4.

Ascension Lutheran Church

Families and pets gather as Pastor Ryan Hersch blesses the animals at Ascension Lutheran Church.

The celebration kicks off a month-long drive for pet food to provide clients of Luminaria Home Care the opportunity to keep their beloved pets. Luminaria provides assistance for seniors and persons with disabilities to promote dignity, quality of life and independence.

Any kind of cat and dog food will be welcome.

The custom of blessing animals is conducted in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi’s love for all creatures. St. Francis, whose feast day is Oct. 4, wrote a Canticle of the Creatures, an ode to God’s living things. “All praise to you, Oh Lord, for all these brother and sister creatures.”

The owners of household pets and even stuffed animals bring each of them forward to be blessed by name.

The Rev. Ryan Hersch, pastor of Ascension Lutheran Church, presides at the ceremony and interacts with each of the pets. The various types of animals seem to enjoy the opportunity to observe and meet other species in a safe environment with their owners close at hand.

Ascension Lutheran Church is located at 7100 N. Mockingbird Lane in Paradise Valley. For more information call 480-948-6050 or visit

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