Jerusalem Western Salisbury Church was among several Lehigh County churches that recently held a Blessing of the Animals service.
The day is coordinated with the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals.
Each animal was welcomed with a prayer and some were gently sprinkled with holy water or given treats.
In thanking God for animal companions, the Rev. Samantha Drennan told those gathered with their animals outside the church that God "shows his love for us through animals."
At Solomon’s UCC in Macungie, the Rev. Martha Boyer told those gathered, “Animals are an important part of God’s creation.”
The Rev. Jerel Gade of St. Peter’s Union Church said St. Francis gave up his wordly possessions and led a simple life while he took care of animals. “Honoring him shows that God is in every aspect of creation,” Gade said.