Monday, September 21, 2009

Liturgy: Dog in the Recessional

There's a YouTube video making the rounds (rather quickly) that shows a dog joining in the recessional at the end of Mass, carrying the priest's hymnal in its mouth.  The story circulating with the video is that the dog belongs to the priest, and that before Mass began the priest gave a brief plug for the dog shampoo he uses (treating the altar as a stand for the product).

While there are blessings for animals in both the Roman Ritual and the modern Book of Blessings, and there is a rite of blessing of animals for use on the Feast of St. Francis, the general presence of animals at Mass seems like a poor prudential decision.  The dog carrying the priest's hymnal in the recessional seems more like a secular spectacle (a circus act) than a sacred action (a liturgical act).

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