Manassas Journal Messenger | All creatures, great and small

Wes Shank and Eric, his albino ferret, drew a lot of attention Sunday at the annual Blessing of the Animals at Trinity Episcopal Church in Manassas on Sunday.

Seven-year-old Rebecca Baumhurst, her 4-year-old brother Jimmy and their hermit crabs Harry and Hermione were popular as well.

The crabs and ferret stood out at the blessing by virtue of their species.

Dogs and cats were well represented in number and variety, but it seemed that everyone wanted to peer into the crabs’ plexiglass cases or scratch Eric behind the ears.

Rebecca said she and her brother felt good for having their pets blessed.

Shank agreed.

“I feel better that Eric has been blessed, because I view him as one of God’s creatures,” the optician said.

“It’s just a way of presenting him and thanking God for his life,” Shank said.

Stuart Schadt, the rector of Trinity, and Vinnie Lainson, the assistant rector, presided over the blessing and read from the story of Noah, from the Old Testament Book of Genesis.

“The Lord has created every living creature and delights in all creation,” the rector read from the program.

“Oh come let us adore Him,” the creatures who stood on two legs answered him.

After more scripture, a “Song of Creation” and a prayer, Lainson concluded the mass blessing of about 30 people and their pets.

“May God’s blessing be upon each of these creatures and may they flourish in the care and joy of those whose lives they share. The peace of the Lord be with you,” she concluded the ceremony.

“And also with you,” the congregation answered.

Schadt and Lainson split the duties and blessed each animal individually after the blessing.

Afterwards, there were cookies and doughnuts for the people and appropriate kibble for everybody else.

Staff writer Keith Walker can be reached at (703) 878-8063.

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