First, Feathered Friends invites all persons of all faiths to submit similar information on blessings for
birds from Moslem, Buddhist, Hindu, etc. texts and traditional ceremonies. We will incorporate them here, as parrots themselves
know no religion, except their relationship with Nature itself, which transcends any religion. We are particulalrly interested
in Native American ceremonies honoring birds.
Second, after over five years of parrot guardianship and fostering, we have come one simple conclusion:
Parrots are one of Nature's most amazing species. They
are special in many ways. With over 50 million years of evolution behind them, the question arises, in what we think of as
a simpler mind, what do they really know about existence and Nature that we do not even comprehend? Look into the eyes of
a Psittacine, look deeply, and try to feel and absorb what they must feel and think. If we are willing
to go beyond that notion that man is the ony self-cognizant and self-aware entity on Earth, then we may be on the path
to a more global and more open understanding of the creatures around us.
Let's look at the first prayer, the Prayer For Our Animal Friends (reprinted from The Prayer Pet Line) as
it appears on the Franciscan Friars web site:
Heavenly Father, our human ties with our friends
of other species is a wonderful and specail gift from You. We now ask You grant our special animal companions your Fatherly
care and healing power to take away any suffering they have. Give us, their human friends, new understanding of our responsibilities
to these greatures of your.
They have trust in us as we have trust in You; We are on this Earth
together to give one another friendship, affection, and caring. Take our heartfelt prayers and fill Your ill or suffering
animals with healing Light and strength to overcome whatever weakness of body they have.
(Here mention the names of the animals needing prayer)
Your goodness is turned upon every living thing and Your grace flows
to all Your creatures. Grant to our special animal companions long and healthy lives. Give them good relationships with and
if You see fit to take them from us, help us to understand that they are not gone from us, but only drawing closer to You.
Grant our petitions through the intercession of good St. Francis of Assisi, who honored You through all Your creatures.
We now present St. Francis of Assis's famous Sermon to
the Birds, written c. 1220. For the man who wrote these thoughts in a time when it was thought that animals did not have souls,
his was advanced thinking. Notice his reference to birds as "little sisters":
My little sisters, the birds, much bounden are ye
unto God, your Creator, and always in every place ought ye to praise Him, for that He hath given you liberty to fly about
everywhere, and hath also given you double and triple rainment; moreover He preserved your seed in the ark of Noah, that your
race might not perish out of the world; still more are ye beholden to Him for the element of the air which He hath appointed
for you; beyond all this, ye sow not, neither do you reap; and God feedeth you, and giveth you the streams and fountains for
your drink; the mountains and valleys for your refuge and the high trees whereon to make your nests; and because ye know not
how to spin or sow, God clotheth you, you and your children; wherefore you Creator loveth you much, seeing that He hath bestowed
on you so many benefits; and therefore, my little sisters, beware of the sin of ingratitude, and study always to give praises
Wow!! Give this prayer a second reading. We think that when a
parrot sings simply for the joy of singing, swings from a perch for the joy of playing, or even tussles playfully with a mate
or human guardian, he or she is demonstrating that 50 million-year old connection with Nature.
In Judaism, there are no patron saints, however there is a similar concept to a saint's
feast day in the hillula. A hillula, though it originally referred to a celebration such as a wedding feast, was
later adapted to annual rejoicing on the anniversary of the death of an important Rabbi. An important figure in recent memory
is Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak Ha-Kohen Kook (1864-1935), the first Chief Rabbi of Israel. His vision for humanity and animals
is exceptional, heading towards a relationship of peace. He emphasized how "the suffering of [all] creatures calls out for
our compassion...this sensitivity signals a sense of comradeship, sharing another;s pain, and our having entered the borders
of their innner world." He also envisioned our being able to share Torah with animals in the world to come.
The day to celebrate a hillula for Rabbi Kook and his teachings about animals, is
on the 3rd Day of the Hebrew calendar month of Elul. A suggested ceremony is on the Ritualwell.org web site. In the Gregorian
calendar, Elul falls roughly between August-September.