St. Luke’s has quite the double bill this weekend, with something for pet people and music lovers alike.
On Sunday morning, the Anglican church will be hosting its annual Blessing of the Animals, corresponding with the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. Then, in the afternoon, the church becomes a concert hall for Anything Goes Too!, St. Luke’s second annual show spanning numerous musical genres.
While both events are relatively new additions to the St. Luke’s calendar, parish council member Barb Prescott said they’ve been well received by the community. The Blessing of the Animals started in 2013 after the Rev. Daniel Fournier joined the church.
“He’s a cat lover and he decided he’d have a blessing of the animals service,” said Prescott. “We were pleasantly surprised how popular it was the first year we did it and it’s been popular since.”
Dogs and cats may be the most likely pets to bring to the blessing, but Prescott said they’ve had some unusual creatures join them in the church.
“Somebody brought lizards – they had a jacket on and the lizards were kind of tucked in the jacket,” she said. “It’s always interesting how peaceful it all is. You sort of expect that there might be some kind of ruckus, but there never is – they all seem to get along.”
The ceremony starts at 9:15 a.m. and runs for 30 minutes, with coffee and tea afterwards. Residents who have pets that have passed on are welcome to bring a photo of their pet in remembrance.
Later in the day at 2:30 p.m., St. Luke’s will host its Anything Goes Too! concert, a musical variety show with performances ranging from sacred contemporary to classical to jazz.
“There’s something for everybody – that’s why it’s Anything Goes,” said Susanne Reul-Zastre, the St. Luke’s choir director and organist.
The lineup includes a number of talented vocal and instrumental musicians, including Rachel Mitten, Erika Pryer, Dorothy Cook, Matthew Robertson, Roy Bauchman and the Sequoia Women’s Ensemble.
“The singers are singing everything from Fiddler on the Roof to Mozart to Handel to Puccini,” said Reul-Zastre.
The show is dedicated in memory of organists Marjorie Inglis and Allison Pippy, who were each big supporters of the St. Luke’s music ministry. Reul-Zastre said she will perform one of Pippy’s original compositions at the show, and they are also including a hymn introduction that Inglis played.
Admission is by donation to the St. Luke’s Choral Scholar Fund, with a suggested donation of $15.
For more information about the Blessing of the Animals or Anything Goes Too!, visit stlukesvictoria.ca or call 250-477-6741.