Andrew Linzey is an Anglican priest and an internationally known theologian working in the arena of Christianity and animals. He is a member of the Faculty of Theology in the University of Oxford and holds the world's first post in theology and animal welfare at Blackfriars Hall, Oxford. He says that the track record for Christian devotion and its attention to the care and welfare of animals is abysmal. Almost nowhere in the common prayers and liturgies of the Christian church used for the past 2,000 years can one find prayers for God's non-human creatures! That is an astonishing illustration of how much animals have been at the periphery of human concerns.

Linzey notes that we live in a culture that "thinks and speaks of animals largely in terms of machines, tools, commodities, or resources." He makes it clear that there is a link between our exploitation of these creatures and our failure to realize that they are to be reverenced and cherished. He challenges Christians and worshipping communities to include these fellow-travelers in our prayers, liturgies, and rituals: "God's love affair with the flesh does not stop at the human species."

This sturdy and helpful paperback includes ample material on services for animal welfare, Eucharistic prayers for all creatures, a liturgy for covenanting with animals, liturgies for the healing of animals, litanies for animal protection, a vigil for all suffering creatures, forms for the blessing of animals, a liturgy for animal burial, and memorial prayers for animals. Linzey has provided individuals and Christian communities with sensitive devotional material that treats animals with the respect and love they deserve.

Try a Spiritual Practice on Compassion