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Weekend Ticket: Grace UMC to bless pets Sunday

NATCHEZ — In the two years the Rev. Linda Fox has pastored Grace United Methodist Church, she said most of the people she has met in Natchez treat their pets as part of the family — yet most Sundays pets miss out on the family blessing.

This Sunday, however, pets would receive a blessing starting at 3 p.m. at Grace United Methodist Church, 2 Fatherland Road, Natchez.

The annual Blessing of the Animals hosted the first Sunday in October has been an ongoing tradition at the church for more than a decade, Fox said.

“I have a huge love for animals myself,” Fox said. “What I’ve noticed since living here in Natchez is everyone loves their dogs and cats yet none of the other churches here has an animal blessing. When I stepped in at Grace United Methodist and learned that they have one every year, I just thought it was great. We always use it as a way to give the Humane Society some exposure and people bring food, supplies or monetary donations for them as part of it.”

Fox said for the past two years, between 25 and 30 animals have come to the front lawn of the church.

Fox gives a brief message about animals in the Bible before walking around to each dog or cat saying a blessing over them — big or small.

“In the past, we’ve set up a table with candles on it in memory of those who’ve lost pets or had to put them down. Anyone who wanted to could light a candle in memory of one of their babies that had died within the last year.”

Pet owners and families also receive a prayer, too, Fox said.

“The service is open to anyone that wants to come,” she said.

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