Dogs, cats--maybe hamsters, iguanas, and other animals--join ministers and the Durham Children's Choir in front of Duke Chapel for the Blessing of the Animals worship service. Pet owners are welcome to bring their animals to the lawn in front of the chapel to receive a blessing as part of the worship service.
Those bringing pets are responsible for their animals and are asked to bring only pets that will be safe around children and other animals. The service will last about thirty minutes and includes music from the choir, scripture readings, and a sermon. Individual animal blessings will take place immediately after the service.
Masks are required on the Duke campus in all indoor locations and strongly recommended in outdoor settings with a gathering of people. For more information, see the university's public health measures: https://returnto.duke.edu/public-health-measures/ .
Parking is available on a first-come-first-served basis in the Bryan Center Parking Garage at 125 Science Drive at a cost of $2 per hour. ADA parking is available in the parking lot immediately in front of the garage.
The Blessing of the Animals service is inspired by St. Francis of Assisi, a thirteenth-century Italian Catholic friar who lived a life of voluntary poverty and is known for his love of animals. He believed the natural world could give glory to God, writing in his song Canticle of the Sun, "Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures."
The rain date for the event is Sunday, October 10, at 3:00 p.m.