What do you think of a dog at Mass?


I will have to think about it. I have mixed feelings at the moment.

It doesn’t seem like a distraction at this particular parish.
I don’t see a problem so far.

As someone who has done dachshund rescue, I love dogs. In fact, I have several special needs dachshunds, as well as a pug and a boston terrier. However, that being said, the only time you will see benedictgal with her menagerie is when it’s the Feast of St. Francis and the parish is having a blessing of the animals outside the church.

While Elijah, the dog in question, may be well behaved, I do not believe that his attendance at Mass is at all proper, unless, of course, he were a service dog (to the visually/hearing/physically impaired). St. Francis, animal lover that he was, did not necessarily advocate, as far as I can tell, the presence of his brother creatures at the Mass.

I’m a big animal lover and in fact, have a lot of animals. But I have mixed feelings about dogs in Church.

On the one hand, you see this elderly guy bring his canine companion to Mass with him and the dog is well behaved and doesn’t cause distractons or disturbances. There is no food around (even if you count Communion, the dog doesn’t have access to the Host) so there’s no problem there. I’d be hard pressed to complain. And it doesn’t sound like this dog is causing a problem.

But not everyone likes animals, and whether they say it or not, there will be someone very offended.

But if you allow someone to bring in their pets, you set a standard and others will begin bringing their dogs, cats, etc. to Mass with them, and along with it, their varying degrees of “behaving” based on the opinions of the animal owners or varying degrees of distraction based on the opinions of other Church goers. And I can see that getting real messy.

I can see this one guy bringing his dog to Church with him and getting away with it (it certainly wouldn’t bother me). But I don’t think people are going to start bringing their pets to Church and a whole lot of tolerance about it…

The pastor in my old Church had a dog that lived in the rectory, and my grandmother used to get real upset when the dog used to wander around the Church when the Pastor was doing his ‘churchly chores’ before and after Mass. And she was a real clean freak and the thought of the pastor touching is dog and then serving Communion really bothered her. It didn’t bother most people though.

My first reaction, really my gut reaction, is that it isn’t appropriate. A dog doesn’t seem to belong in the Church during the Liturgy which is very sacred.

I'm a dog lover and have 3 german shepherds. I'm not sure having a dog wondering around the church during the Mass is appropriate at all. I think that a previous poster indicated that some people may not like it either and may not want to say anything to the priest. That would not be a surprise at all. Why can't the dog just stay in the Sacrasty during the Mass? That wouldn't be a problem...I don't think.

I don’t really think it’s appropriate for non-service animals to be present at Mass. Yes, this particular dog does seem to be well-behaved, and doesn’t seem to be too distracting, but not a complete lack of distraction (as evident by the altar girl petting the dog while performing her duties).

I also can’t help wondering how free the parishioners might feel to object to the presence of their pastor’s dog at Mass.

Yes, after thought, I think a dog would distract me. I love dogs. When I see one, I always want it to come to me for petting. If a dog sticks his nose in my pew, I would probably pet it. And no matter how briefly, be distracted from the Mass. A moment of distraction at the Mass is much too much. It is a moment away from Jesus (although He would probably pet it also).

There is nothing specifically wrong with a dog being in church. However, it adds a little uncertainty to things - the dog is apparently well-behaved, but it could cause allergies, it could be a distraction, it could overturn things or people as it tears across the sanctuary after a mouse, etc. It is simply good church management to try to limit such uncertainties that could disturb the mass, particularly the consecration, or threaten the consecrated species. So when possible it’s helpful to have doors, windows, roofs, etc to prevent animals or weather from coming in and disturbing the mass. To purposefully bring a dog, bird, insect, etc into the mass doesn’t seem like a wise idea.

we have a parishoner who comes in every week (so I am told because she comes and goes at different times) stops at the holy water fountain and blesses her dog! First time I saw it my mouth just fell open. Next time-was not so startling-and after that we ignored her. The dog is small quiet and well behaved. My guess is that she is a poor lonely soul this is her campanion and she wants him to be healthy and well!
Another pastor we know -his dogged followed him everywhere and -I mean everywhere.The dog would go tto mass sit very quietly and look at his master the entire time.The people in his parsih didn’t care.And the pastor knew at least someone was paying attention to his homily!

A salon-owner kept his well-trained, well-behaved dog with him at the hair salon for years in my town with no incidents. Then one day, it bit the face of a toddler, who also happened to be the child of software billionaire Tom Siebel. The child made it out okay, but the dog was put down.

My point is that animals, even well-trained ones, can be unpredictable. And there is always the allergy (dander) issue, too. So unless it’s a guide dog, or providing some other important function, I don’t think it’s worth the risk.

Well-said (and great username, too) :thumbsup:

I adore dogs and can hardly imagine life without them around. However, within a Church is an entirely different matter. I adore Heavy Metal music, but would never approve of its use during the Liturgy.

I’m also a pet owner, so have great empathy for the priest with his. Yet, alas, bringing the dog into it is showing irreverence for the mass. They shouldn’t be bringing in this distraction, for it can and will lead to other things, as already stated in the article.

I have no problems with a dog at Mass, provided s/he were well-trained not to bark or pee on the carpet, and sat quietly with his/her owner at all times.

As for the common reasons for not having a dog at Mass–any of those could be attrubuted to people, too. Some people don’t like dogs? I don’t like a lot of people, but I tolerate their presence. Allergies? Women with too much perfume/hairspray/etc. or men with too much aftershave will have me wheezing in no time. But putting up with other people is the price I pay for worshipping in a group. :wink:

My Savior was born in a stable, so I doubt He minds animals in His presence. :slight_smile:


However, there was an entirely different context in your last statement to what is happening at the Mass. Jesus being born in a stable has nothing to do with what is happening at the Mass. The Mass is the Holy Sacrifice. There needs to be solemnity, dignity, majesty and beauty. As much as I love my little boy Baxter, I will not take my little dachshund to Mass with me because it is not proper.

I think it was St Philip Neri that came to mass with a squirrel on his shoulder…and they both went into ecstasy accoding to Mother Angelica

She told the story laughing so I guess it’s nothing new

Of course service dogs should always be allowed…but I’mI am not too sure about bringing pets to church

Many people have allergies for one, and if everyone did it, it would become a circus but this dog seems to be well behaved I must say

That’s really sweet. I’d love to have the dog at my parish.

However, having said that, the downside is that he’d most definitely be a distraction and there’s the problem of people with allergies. Maybe it’s better if he didn’t come into the church.

I wouldn't mind just one, but no more than that

If Karl had made capital instead of writing about it, it would have been much better. - Karl Marx’s mother.

Hey Beachcomber…that’s hillarious!

[quote="redrosetea, post:18, topic:183215"]
I wouldn't mind just one, but no more than that


But I wanna bring my three GSD's. Just kidding! :D

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