Sad news from Stepson #1 and Semi-Son-in-Law: Their beloved beagle, Cooper, died suddenly today.
While trying to convey something akin to pastoral care over the phone to Orlando -- being the closest thing to a family priest that we have -- I thought about how weird we Christians are about the death of companion animals. Most of us, at least in the liturgical traditions, don't have an issue blessing living pets, or even inanimate objects, but when a pet dies we sometimes think it's unseemly or even sacreligious to acknowledge that in any kind of pastoral or liturgical way.
For all you church geeks reading: If someone came to you asking for pastoral care or help with a ritual goodbye for a beloved pet, what would you do? If you had to come up with a short family-friendly liturgy for the burial of a pet, what are some things you'd include? I'm honestly curious.
Meanwhile, at our house we remember Cooper, marvelous creation of God and beloved companion to humankind, and thank God for this life well lived with humans who loved him, and who loved them back, unconditionally.