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PHOTOS: Blessing of the Animals at Northwood Congregational Church

  • Andrew George, 7, sings "Go Now in Peace" to his hen Fred at the Blessing of the Animals at Northwood Congregational Church on Sunday morning, July 7, 2013 in Northwood.<br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Andrew George, 7, sings "Go Now in Peace" to his hen Fred at the Blessing of the Animals at Northwood Congregational Church on Sunday morning, July 7, 2013 in Northwood.
    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Norma Heroux holds a bowl of grass in one hand and a bowl of dog food in the other while standing in the Communion line at the Blessing of the Animals at Northwood Congregational Church on Sunday morning, July 7, 2013 in Northwood.<br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Norma Heroux holds a bowl of grass in one hand and a bowl of dog food in the other while standing in the Communion line at the Blessing of the Animals at Northwood Congregational Church on Sunday morning, July 7, 2013 in Northwood.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Rev. Gayle Murphy pets Nada the dog while in the Communion line at the Blessing of the Animals at Northwood Congregational Church on Sunday morning, July 7, 2013 in Northwood.<br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Rev. Gayle Murphy pets Nada the dog while in the Communion line at the Blessing of the Animals at Northwood Congregational Church on Sunday morning, July 7, 2013 in Northwood.
    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Susan Pratt-Smith scratches her dog Misty's chin while settling back into their seats after receiving Communion at the Blessing of the Animals at Northwood Congregational Church on Sunday morning, July 7, 2013 in Northwood.<br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

    Susan Pratt-Smith scratches her dog Misty's chin while settling back into their seats after receiving Communion at the Blessing of the Animals at Northwood Congregational Church on Sunday morning, July 7, 2013 in Northwood.
    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

  • Andrew George, 7, sings "Go Now in Peace" to his hen Fred at the Blessing of the Animals at Northwood Congregational Church on Sunday morning, July 7, 2013 in Northwood.<br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Norma Heroux holds a bowl of grass in one hand and a bowl of dog food in the other while standing in the Communion line at the Blessing of the Animals at Northwood Congregational Church on Sunday morning, July 7, 2013 in Northwood.<br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Rev. Gayle Murphy pets Nada the dog while in the Communion line at the Blessing of the Animals at Northwood Congregational Church on Sunday morning, July 7, 2013 in Northwood.<br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
  • Susan Pratt-Smith scratches her dog Misty's chin while settling back into their seats after receiving Communion at the Blessing of the Animals at Northwood Congregational Church on Sunday morning, July 7, 2013 in Northwood.<br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

It’s been a long-standing tradition at the Northwood Congregational Church to, once a year, include the beloved pets of the congregation in Communion, and that took place on Sunday. All kinds of animals are welcome to attend. In the past, snakes and guinea pigs have even shared the pews. In her prayer of invocation, the lay reader Susan Pratt-Smith asked the church to go so far as to think of the black spotted salamander that lives in her neighbor’s wood pile during their prayers.

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