Can you imagine praying to your cat or dog for life offerings or blessings? In ancient Egypt, Bastet was the goddess of joy and protector of women. Amulets were worn showing cats as protection against everyday problems. Anubis, the Jackal-headed god of the underworld, guided spirits to their afterlife. Pets have played a part in religion for centuries.
In North America, people putting their faith in pets is a growing trend. An online prayer service in which volunteers will pray for you reports that prayers for pets are consistently in their top ten requests. Churches are getting in on the act as well – one church has even converted it’s playground into a dog park for outdoor sermons! Hopefully the minister reminds the congregation to scoop on the way out – cleanliness is next to godliness, after all, right?
In Los Angeles, (only in LA!) a minister has revitalized his dwindling church membership by turning “God’s House” into a “Dog House.” His weekly service focuses on the the spirituality of pets and the deep bonds that owners form with their animals. Pet blessings and pet-centric services are all a part of his new program.