Photo: Pets Gaining Recognition in Places of Worship



An increasing number of churches and synagogues are recognizing the animal-human bond with activities such as pet-friendly services and private memorials.

For example, the congregation at the Beth Shir Sholom temple in Santa Monica, California, holds a "Bark Mitzvah" each spring during the Jewish holiday of Purim. The annual ritual for pets is a lark, with spoofs of songs and prayers, says Rabbi Neil Comess-Daniels. But when it comes time to bless the animals, people take it very seriously.

Photograph courtesy Mary Hammer


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