Blessings Abound

An occasion is called for…

something special to celebrate or honor. Your mind races Where? Who? When? What? How?  But be careful not to lose touch with WHY you want to do this! I will help you hold onto the truth of your ‘WHY’ and that will keep you grounded in the meaning and main focus of the event.

A rite of passage…

is a ceremony marking or celebrating the experience of a life transition and symbolically represents the end of one’s old life and rebirth into new life.  These ceremonies enabled our ancestors to find meaning and guidance in the major turning points of their lives.

Rites of passage exist so that people in our modern world may undertake, complete and understand their journeys, discovering within themselves and their loved ones meaning and vision.

Rev. Amanda’s Philosophy

All people regardless of their faith background deserve meaningful rites of passage experiences tailored to their level of comfort in truth and spirituality.  I believe such special occasions must be filled with reverence, authenticity and celebration – not stress – so I provide calm assurance through my detailed organization.

Christening and Naming Blessing

A birth is a wonderful, miraculous event to be celebrated.  I suggest a meaningful place such as your home or the beach for Christenings or Baptism.  If you want a celebration for the birth and naming of your child and have no particular religious commitment, or if your child is adopted and you want an appropriate welcoming ceremony, or if you simply want to do something non-traditional and different, again I can help you.

House Blessing

We need our homes to be places of security, sanctuary, hospitality and love.  They are places which we have dreamed of, worked hard for, and built with a growing future in mind.  Our homes are often our greatest assets, so is it any wonder that we want to protect them and give thanks for them?

Pet Blessing or Funeral

To say goodbye to someone who has been more like a child / best friend / and hero than ever ‘just’ a pet.  “We gather to pay tribute to ‘LuLu’ for the loyalty, love and friendship that she has always given…”

“Someday, you will meet your beloved dog again, with hugs, tears and kisses.  Until that day comes, we honor this beloved soul and remember her with the lighting of a candle, sending a message of love, light and healing, and the faith to believe in miracles.”

Bless these pals

‘We pray for all pets, for all God’s creations’
By Majsan Boström, Staff Writer, Star News, October 3, 2005

blessthesepalsA mix of mutts and purebred dogs patiently awaited their presentation, prayers and blessings Sunday under a tree in the back yard of St. Jude’s Metropolitan Community Church off Castle Street.

“We’ll start with a prayer,” said Pastor Amanda McCullough, and Chloe, a golden retriever, barked approvingly and impatiently as if she was anxious to get the pet-blessing started. “We pray for all pets, for all God’s creations . . . ”

About 16 dogs and a black kitten named Jinx were on their best behavior during the ceremony, some even decked out in pearl necklaces and dresses.

Rev. McCullough said that Christians everywhere celebrate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi on Oct. 4 by blessing their pets in the spirit of this patron saint of animals and the environment.

“We have done it for three years, and we do it on the Sunday before that date,” she said of the pet blessing at St. Jude. “We hold brief prayers and individual blessings of all the animals and their owners. We also pray for healing and that all pet owners are spending their time and money on their pets as they should.”

Aside from a couple of hisses from Jinx, who had to leave early because she was a bit overwhelmed by all the dogs, not a mean bark was heard.

Casper, a cream-colored Chihuahua, came with his owners Ronnie Butts and David Ronzello. Mr. Butts and Mr. Ronzello told Rev. McCullough that Casper was in dire need of a blessing, because he has a bad habit of running away – he escaped his collar once during the ceremony – and is too trusting of strangers.

“We call him Casper, after Casper the Friendly Ghost, because we never know when he will disappear,” Mr. Butts said.

Casper likes to frequent the South College Road-Oleander Drive intersection, Mr. Butts said.

“The busiest intersection in this city and he just jumps into people’s cars,” Mr. Butts said. “Last week he was on ‘vacation’ in Southport before we found him and got him back.”

Liz Beach had decked out her mixed-breed lapdog Brie in a pink dress with a pink headband.

“She’s got all sorts of clothes,” Ms. Beach said. “Mostly feminine, but she has some butch outfits too.”

Ms. Beach said Brie hadn’t exactly been pampered by her former owners, so she had decided to change that and spoil the nervous little dog rotten.

“She likes to be the only dog, the center of attention,” Ms. Beach said. “And she deserves it.”

Deacon Twinkle Gordon, who donned an animal-print stole over her white robe for the occasion, read The Rainbow Bridge story, a tale about where animals go when they die.

Standing beside Kira, her purebred German shepherd, Ms. Gordon cried along with some listeners while reading the story, thinking of some of her pets that had already gone on to Rainbow Bridge.

Most people who have pets don’t have just one, she said. A pet owner usually has more than five pets in a lifetime, she said.

“And all these animals put a print in our hearts,” Ms. Gordon said. “If it’s a person, it’s ‘Thanks,’ ” Ms. Gordon said. “But an animal is so grateful. Give them water, a pat on the head, food and they will reward you with giving everything that they have to you.”

Some people say “dog” is “God” spelled backward, Ms. Gordon said.

“I think there is something to it,” she said. “Pets and especially dogs have that unconditional love we talk about with God.”

After the blessings and prayers, which took about half an hour, every dog received a collar pendant with an image of St. Francis.

“We’re here for pets, for people,” Rev. McCullough said. “We’re here for all God’s creations.”

And as if she had been asked to assist Rev. McCullough in the pet-blessing, Chloe barked again like she was saying “Amen,” and rolled over in the grass.

Majsan Boström 343-2075

majsan.bostrom@starnewsonline.com