WAXAHACHIE — Central Presbyterian Church’s Blessing of the Animals is a worship service that celebrates God’s love and concern for all that God has created, including our beloved animals, said the Rev. Matt Curry, pastor.

This year’s annual outdoor service will be conducted at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 7 at Fellowship Park, next to the church, 402 N. College St.

Animals must be leashed, in a carrier or otherwise properly restrained. All animals and their owners are welcome.

“I love to get the opportunity to meet new people, bless them, and meet their unusual friends,” Curry said. “Previously, I blessed some lizards for the first time, and I am wondering what awesome creatures I will get to meet this year.”

The service is focused on gratitude to God for the bond we have with our animals. Scripture holds many passages that speak of God’s love for the entire created order, not just human beings.

“One of my favorites is Psalm 36:6,” Curry said. “‘Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your judgments are like the great deep; you save humans and animals alike, O Lord.’”

Animal owners are welcome to bring pet food or other donations, which will be delivered to the Ellis County SPCA.

Blessings of the Animals have traditionally been done in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi, who was known for his love for all creatures. St. Francis was called the patron saint of animals and ecology.