By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff
Anyone who has ever visited Unity Farm Sanctuary in Sherborn knows the great lengths staff and volunteers go to for the resident animals. From the time they arrive at the sanctuary, these creatures are given the best care as they live out their days. To celebrate these animals, Unity Farm Sanctuary hosted a blessing of the animals on Sunday, October 4. Members of the community were welcomed to join the festivities via Zoom.
After a quick introduction from Unity Farm Sanctuary Humane Education Director Marla Andrews, the Wellesley Symphony Orchestra String Trio tipped off the festivities and began playing a few peaceful melodies. Those watching at home could hear the clucking of birds in the background, as if they were noisily replying to the music. The overall ambiance of a peaceful day at the farm permeated the proceedings, while onlookers watched from the comfort of their own home.
After a few calming songs, Marla came back in, began a brief break, and then welcomed Ministerial Intern Emily Bruce of Sherborn’s Unitarian Universalist Church to perform the blessings. Bruce began the blessing with a quick introduction as to why Sunday, October 4, was so significant. The date marks the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, who is the patron saint of animals. “Nationally, many churches of all denominations hold a Sunday service on this Sunday dedicated to blessing animals,” explained Bruce. The Unitarian Universalist Church believes that everyone has the power to bestow blessings. Using one of the animals, Bruce told each volunteer (and Zoom audience member) to hold out their hand and recite the blessing: “May you live a long, happy, and blessed life. May there be food in your belly, a warm place to sleep, and joy in your days. Amen.”
Bruce and her group of in-person volunteers traveled around the farm, blessing all of the animals in groups so that each creature received one. The Zoom audience watched as the largest residents and the smallest residents all received blessings, all while spotting some of the hijinks going on at the farm during the event, including the appearance of a visiting fox.
The orchestra returned following the blessing of the animals. As the Trio's tunes flowed through the air, the sound of ducks quacking could be heard clearly as if they were carefully listening to the string instruments. Adele and Star, the donkeys, brayed in the background.
It was a pleasant reminder that these animals have come to Unity Farm Sanctuary to live the rest of their life in comfort and happiness - and they are doing just that.