The Cathedral of St. John the Divine celebrates the beauty of the animal kingdom and the dignity of all creatures with a ceremony and special blessing for animals large and small, at the 33rd annual Feast of Saint Francis and Blessing of the Animals on Sunday, October 1st from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, located at 1047 Amsterdam Avenue (at 112th Street) in Manhattan.
This signature Cathedral service features the Missa Gaia (or Earth Mass), composed by Paul Winter and Paul Halley. The Paul Winter Consort is joined by a massed choir of hundreds of voices conducted by Director of Cathedral Music Kent Tritle, with modern and traditional African dance performances by Forces of Nature Dance Theatre. The unique ceremony concludes with the Procession of the Animals down the Nave of the Cathedral.
The day is a celebration of the life of Saint Francis of Assisi and his advocacy for harmony between human beings and the natural world. Following the procession, guests are welcomed to enjoy an outdoor fair from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., with pet blessings, activities, refreshments and performances.
Guests are encouraged to bring their pets to the Cathedral to be a part of the celebration and to receive a special blessing. In years past, thousands of dogs, cats, birds, reptiles and their owners have attended the event. Pet blessings begin on the Cathedral’s outdoor Pulpit Green at approximately 1:30 p.m.
The event is free and open to the public, though contributions to help support the service are gratefully welcomed. Day-Of Passes will be available on the morning of the event. It is recommended that visitors arrive as early as possible for pass distribution.
Service: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Outdoor Fair: 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.