Firstly, on the central place that animals have in so many of our lives. The companion animals or pets that we have are very dear to so many. Indeed, they sometimes feel more important in our lives than some members of our families! They will transform a house into a home and help us relax and be content. The loss of a pet can be a traumatic event and it is good that now there are services and prayers to help us mark this sad occasion.
Secondly, we can reflect and pray about the cruelty that many animals go through. It gives us a chance to remember never to treat our own animals thoughtlessly and also to consider supporting those organisations that help to alleviate cruelty. It is not only domestic cruelty that is a cause for concern but many forms of factory farming.
Thirdly, we can remember that the animals are part of God’s good creation just like us humans. That they are loved by God just as we are loved by God. And that our relationship with the animal side of creation should be a thoughtful and loving one because we all have a common origin. We are much more aware nowadays of the need for a healthy relationship between humanity and the natural world, for an ecological balance. The Animal Service helps us to reflect on this, pray about it and determine to do everything to ensure that humanity does not exploit the world about us.