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Blessed Are The Animals

The joyful noise unto the Lord included some yips, yaps and yowls at churches across the nation Sunday.

Dogs, cats, rabbits, ducks, gerbils and even a horse joined parishioners at some Sunday services for the annual St. Francis Festival Procession and Blessing of the Animals. Such services were held from coast-to-coast and included St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York and churches in Denver, Missouri and Minnesota.

At St. John's Episcopal Cathedral in Denver, Helen Fair helped a friend with a tortoise-shell cat and five kittens.

"They need to be blessed; they're heathens," she said.

When the congregation began singing the hymn, "All creatures of our God and King," barks, yaps and yowls echoed through the cathedral's stone arches.