YORKTOWN, N.Y. - Chip Low, co-pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Yorktown, answered an unusual calling two years ago, when he was asked to conduct a circus blessing.

“I blessed an elephant,” he said.

After that, he and his co-pastor/wife, Tami Seidel, decided to bring the opportunity to Yorktown’s pets. This year, they offered their second “blessing of the pets” ceremony Sunday, Oct. 2, at First Presbyterian Church.

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Seidel and Low led the ceremony, which included songs and prayers and then the blessing of cats, dogs, guinea pigs and one hamster. Close, but no circus.

“The only animal we haven’t seen yet here is a pet snake,” Low said.

Families were invited to bring their pets or a photo of a pet who has passed or had to stay home.

“I think it’s a way of being more aware of God’s presence in our lives and in our homes,” Seidel said. “As stewards, it’s our job to care for these animals. Pets bring a real gift in so many ways to people who are lonely or trying to heal. We think they’re a gift from God. We don’t want to just bless animals that are alive, we want to bless the impact of them even after they’re gone. I think a lot of people find comfort in it.”