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Liturgies for Commemorations and Burials of Animals

OPENING SENTENCES:

Officient: I saw a New Heaven and a New Earth for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. And God will wipe away all tears from all eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying. Neither shall there be any more pain for the former things are all passed away. And the Lord Who sits upon the throne declared, “Behold, I make all things new. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.”

Christ is the First and the Last, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.”

All: Who reconciles and redeems every form of created life.

Officient: Christ is the First and the Last, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.

All: The source and destiny of all Living things.

Officient: Christ is the First and the Last, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.

All: Christ bears the wounds of all suffering creatures.

Officient: Christ is the First and the Last, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.

All: Christ transforms all suffering into joy.

Officient: St, John saw the new Heaven and the New Earth, a place without pain, where there will be no more sorrow or weeping.

St. Paul saw that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing to the joys that we find after death in Christ.

The promise of joy after these sufferings is God’s reassurance to all creatures.

We do not mourn, therefore, without hope and we do not mourn without thanksgiving. For the same God Who creates is the same God Who reconciles and redeems all creatures.

ALL: Christ is the First and the Lat, the Alpha and Omega, the Saviour of the Universe. In Christ shall all be made alive.

PRAYERS OF DEDICATION (A)

Officient or All:
The Love of God speaks to us in the birds and streams, in fields and farms and forests, in tundras and tropics, in water still and tumultuous.

Holy Creator, give us eyes to see and ears to hear how every living thing speaks of your love.

Let us be awe struck at your creation and daily raise your praises.

Enable us to rejoice that we are alive, surrounded by the miracles of your grace.

Especially, we pray, create within us a spirit of gratitude for the life of (Name of animal and kind; ex. Rover, a dog; Loorie, a cat) who lived amon us and gave freely of his/her companionship and love.

Receive this little life which we commit into your hands and, in a world of cold ingratitude, receive also from us our heartfelt prayer of thanksgiving.

Even in our sorrow, we have cause for joy for we know that this creature who died on earth abides in your presence. We know that your power which sets the moon and the stars shall unite us again with (Name) and all the other faces of your love in accordance with your abundant grace.

For in that place, we shall see and we shall know and most of all, we shall love.

Most Loving God, mysterious beyond all words and worlds, your indestructible love embraces every living thing.

Amen.
OR PRAYERS OF DEDICATION (B)

Officient or All:

Pilgrim God, Who journeys with us through the joys and shadows of this world, be with us in our sorrow and share our pain.

Help us to accept the mystery of death without bitterness but with hope.

Among the shadows of this world, and the turmoil of life and the fear of death, you stand alongside us, always blessing, always, giving, arms always outstretched

For we know that we – and every living thing – is yours and returns to you.

As we ponder this mystery, we give you thanks for the life of (Name and kind) and we commit him/her into your loving hands.

Great God, fragile is your world, delicate are your creatures, and costly is your love which heals and redeems us all. AMEN.


OR PRAYERS OF DEDICATION (C)

Officient or All:

Holy Father, Your Son, Jesus Christ, taught us that not one sparrow is forgotten in your sight.

We ask that you now remember our friend and companion (Name and kind) whose life was blessed by the gift of your Spirit and whose life among us on earth has ended.

Receive now the life of (Name and kind) which we commit into your hands.

Take pity, dear Lord, on this innocent creature whose life, like ours, was burdened with suffering and pain, and grant us with her/him a share in your eternal kingdom.

Eternal Father, we know that nothing can finally separate us from those we love and that in another place and another time, we shall be reunited with all those earthly faces whom we have loved and for whom we now mourn.

We ask these prayers through Jesus Christ, your Son, Our Lord. AMEN.


OR PRAYERS OF DEDICATION (D)

Officient or All:

Creator of all, everything that has breath praises you in this world and in the next.

Heaven is full of the sounds of creaturely voices, a wondrous cacophony of praise and thanksgiving.

Day and night, all Thy creatures praise you, giving thanks for their being, with joy without ceasing.

We now commit the life of our friend (Name and kind) to eternal fellowship with you.

May his/her praises resound in Your Presence where she/he shall be free from all suffering and pain.

Creator, hear our prayer and let our cry come unto You. May our voices unite with those in heaven into one long song of eternal thanksgiving. AMEN.


OR PRAYERS OF DEDICATION (E)

Officient or All:

Loving Creator, source of all life, have pity on (name and kind) whose life was marked by suffering and pain.

Receive this little life into your presence and grant to (Name) that joy and happiness denied to him.her on earth.

Fill our own hearts with pity for all those creatures who suffer and grant us grace and time to repent for the evil we have caused them.

We ask these prayers through Jesus Christ, who came to bring life to the world and freedom from death for us and for all God’s creatures. AMEN.


OR PRAYERS OF DEDICATION (F)

Officient or All:

Loving Christ, Saviour of the universe;

Eternal Logos, through whom all that is comes to be;

Whose Cross is the suffering of all creatures;

Whose death is the bond and bondage of us all;

Free (name and kind) and all your creatures

From the power of death to life everlasting.

AMEN


OR PRAYERS OF DEDICATION (G)

Officient or All:

Holy Father, we have seen the face of your crucified Son in the faces of all who suffer, in our kind and other kinds;

We know that the Cross of Your Son stretches over the whole world;

In every cry of pain, in every broken body, Your Son is with us;

Receive now the life of this fellow victim (Name and kind);

That as You have been with him/her in life, so may You also restore her/him in death;

Through Jesus Christ who alone is our hope in heaven and on earth, our one sure reward, AMEN


THE CONCLUDING PRAYER:

ALL: O God, before Whom
generations rise and fall
and countless creatures live and die;
liberate us from earthly despair
and help us to see your transforming power
even in what appears most devastating to us.

Most especially we pray for the grace
to live and believe Your Gospel so that
one day all creation shall be set free
and Your Kingdom established on earth
as it is in Heaven.

Through Jesus Christ,
The First and the Last,
The Alpha and the Omega
Whose triumph over death is our hope of eternal life.
AMEN

*Andrew Linzey. Animal Rites: Liturgies of Animal Care. Cleveland: The Pilgrim Press, 1999.

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