All Creatures Great and Small
This Sunday, October 19, we’ll celebrate the holiness of all the creatures of the earth. This is probably my favorite Sunday of the year - I just love to look out at all the pets sitting in the pews, with their sweet ears poking above the seats, their doting owners proudly introducing them to churchgoers and clergy, seeking a blessing on their furry heads. The dogs, cats, hamsters and snakes (yes, we have a snake - named “Dude”) are inherently blessed, just by their gentle beings. The choir will sing some special pieces for the occasion: a song for children called We Thank You God, for Animal Friends, the tune Bless the Beasts and the Children made famous by the Carpenters sung by young Mina Moore, and John Rutter’s setting of Cecil Frances Alexander’s poem, All Things Bright and Beautiful:
All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all!
Cecil Frances Alexander began writing verse at a very young age. The story goes that she would hide her poetry under a rug, fearing that her father, a strict disciplinarian, would not approve. He noticed a bulge in the rug, though, and read them. Something about the childish lines touched him; he sent them to a member of the clergy at Oxford who pronounced the young author a born writer who should be encouraged!
Some of her hymns our among our most treasured favorites: All Things Bright and Beautiful, There is a Green Hill Far Away, Jesus Calls Us O’er the Tumult, and the Christmas carol Once in Royal David's City.
Come to church this Sunday, and bring your creatures, great and small!