August 27, 2019 - 1:18 PM

2019 St. Francis Day Fair and Blessing of the Animals FAQ

What is the Feast of Saint Francis?
The Feast of Saint Francis is observed by Christians around the world every year on October 4 to commemorate the life of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment. At the Cathedral, we celebrate this Feast on the first Sunday of October. For over 30 years, the celebration has included a Festal Eucharist featuring the Procession of Animals and Paul Winter and Paul Halley’s Missa Gaia (Earth Mass) performed by the Paul Winter Consort, Cathedral Choir and visiting choirs followed by the St. Francis Day Fair and Blessing of the Animals on the Pulpit Green.

How is the Cathedral celebrating this year?
This year we will celebrate on Sunday, October 6 with an afternoon fair on the Pulpit Green. The traditional Festal Eucharist and animal procession will not take place. Due to a fire in the crypt on Palm Sunday, the Cathedral is in the midst of an extensive cleaning and conservation project that limits access to many areas of the building and makes it impossible to host the 2,000+ people and pets who attend this beloved service.

Does that mean the St. Francis Day at the Cathedral is cancelled?
Not at all! The annual St. Francis Day Fair outside on the Pulpit Green will take place as usual, with pet blessings, food trucks, art activities, pet adoption agencies, and more!

Will there a procession of animals, and will the Missa Gaia be sung?
There will be no procession of animals inside the Cathedral this year, but priests will be available to bless your pets during the outdoor Fair. The Missa Gaia will not be sung.

Will there be a large celebration of the Feast of Saint Francis in the future?
Yes, the Feast of St. Francis Festal Eucharist will be back in 2020, bigger and better than ever.

What is the schedule for October 6th?
8 am – Holy Eucharist
9 am – Holy Eucharist
11 am – Choral Eucharist
12:30-3:30 pm – St. Francis Day Fair and Pet Blessings
4 pm – Choral Evensong

Do I need a pass to attend a service or the Fair? Do I need to RSVP?
You do not need a pass to attend a service or the Fair this year. Please join us for one of the four services offered on Sunday – 8 am, 9 am, 11 am, or 4 pm or the Fair from 12:30-3:30 pm on the Pulpit Green.

Can I bring my pet?
Pets will be welcome at all services on October 6, but please note that there will be no blessing of the animals during any of these services. People who wish to have their pets blessed should plan to attend the Fair in the afternoon, where priests will individually bless animals.

Where/when can I bring my furry friend to be blessed?
Please join us between 12:30-3:30 pm on the Pulpit Green to have your pet blessed by a priest.

Is the Cathedral ADA/wheelchair/stroller accessible?
Yes. Our ADA/accessibility ramp is located just north of the Cathedral between the main entrance and 113th Street.

Is there parking at the Cathedral?
Unfortunately, there is no parking on Cathedral grounds. There is limited street parking in the vicinity and several parking garages in the area.

I am a member of the press interested in covering this event. Who can I contact about obtaining a press pass?
Please contact Iva Benson ([email protected]) and Julie Robinson ([email protected]) at Rubenstein Communications for any press pass queries.

I am interested in helping underwrite this beautiful day. Who can I contact about making a donation?
Please contact Priscilla Bayley, Director of Development, at [email protected] or (212) 316-7570.

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