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Eco-Justice Resolutions
from the Episcopal Church

Prayers for the Life and Loss of a Companion Animal

Proposed Resolution for the 76th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, USA, July 2009

Resolution C076: Prayers for the Life and Loss of a Companion Animal

Resolved, the House of ___________ concurring, That this 76th General Convention reaffirm that all animals are a part of All Creation, for which we are called to be stewards of God's gifts; and be it further

Resolved, That the Episcopal Church embrace the opportunity for pastoral care for people who grieve the loss of a companion animal; and be it further

Resolved, That this General Convention direct the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to develop prayers of thanksgiving for the life of and to observe the loss of a companion animal for inclusion in the next edition of the Book of Occasional Services and that it report its work to the 77th General Convention.


Proposer: Diocese of Utah

EXPLANATION

Various groups within the Church have shown an interest in developing inclusive liturgies for events that touch people's lives, for which there currently exists no authorized rite. The bond between humans and their animal companions can be strong, causing a deep sense of loss, grief (or even guilt) over the animal's death, especially when dealing with the loss alone, without the presence of their community of faith, or having the preconception that such an event falls outside the interest of their church. Our animal companions provide a unique connection to creation and expand our sense of God's diverse gifts in creation. In many cases they also join us as partners in ministry, in such capacities as assistance animals, i.e., seeing eye dogs, etc., as well as therapy dogs and cats used in health care facilities and for pastoral care. An authorized rite in the Book of Occasional Services would give clergy and others a resource for offering pastoral care to celebrate and give thanks for the role a companion animal plays in the life of our brothers and sisters as well as providing a pastoral resource at the death of a companion animal.

This resolution was discharged as previously acted on this session.
See Resolution D015.
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The EpEN is a national network of active lay and clergy persons within the Episcopal Church, USA, who share a common concern for the environment and a common belief in the presence of God in all Creation and who work to make these concerns and beliefs known throughout all Provinces and Dioceses within the church. Members come from around the Episcopal Church USA. The activities of the EpEN are focused on the areas of Reflection, Education, and Action. 

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last update: 2012-05-07

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