We Thank You, God, for These: Blessings and Prayers for Family Pets by Anthony F. Chiffolo and Rayner W. Hesse, Jr.


What inspired you to write your book?
For those who have seen the film Marley and Me–

Have you seen the movie Marley and Me yet? If you have, or if you’ve read the book, you realize that at the end of the film there’s a very touching graveside ceremony where the Grogans bid farewell to their longtime companion. It’s a wonderful scene, with the three children each reading something they wrote and putting something into the grave with their beloved pet.

In our book “We Thank You, God, for These,” we have presented several options for memorializing a family pet that has passed away. We have laid out ceremonies step by step, and we have also provided a compendium of readings suitable for many different types of companion animals. These ceremonies are written for both adults and children, for informal or formal settings. Many many readers have found them to be a great comfort in their time of loss.

As we have found, and as the Grogans realized, the passing of a pet is not an event to be ignored or trivialized. A memorial ceremony is a sacred event, whether for dogs or cats or even lizards and snakes, because the love we have for our pets is itself sacred.

About your Book:
“We Thank You, God, for These: Blessings and Prayers for Family Pets” is a reflection on the joys of living with pets. Both devotional and inspirational, this book draws upon scripture and literature to provide a whole range of observances, from blessing newborn pets to commemorating our companions when they pass on.

Book Genre: Nonfiction/Religion

What formats are your books in

How do you see writing a book in the Pet Genre as different from writing other genres of books?
Writing any type of nonfiction book is a step-by-step process–break the project into smaller pieces, and complete each piece. Since we are co-authors, we could divide the pieces up between the two of us. Of course, we then had to “approve” the other’s work. But we did that as we went along.

Advice to someone that is thinking about or currently working on a pet book
Do a little bit every day. You’ll be surprised how quickly it amounts to a substantial manuscript.

How did you decide how to publish your book and where is it published through:
Our book was originally published by Paulist Press. We now own full rights and copies.

Author Bio:
Anthony F. Chiffolo and Rayner W. Hesse Jr. are the authors of “Cooking with the Movies: Meals on Reels” (www.cookingwiththemovies.com) and “Cooking with the Bible: Recipes for Biblical Meals” (www.cookingwiththebible.com). They are also authors of “We Thank You, God, for These: Blessings and Prayers for Family Pets.”

Anthony Chiffolo is Editorial Director, Print for ABC-CLIO. He is the author of numerous books, including “100 Names of Mary: Stories and Prayers”; “Advent and Christmas with the Saints”; “Advent and Christmas Wisdom from Padre Pio”; and “At Prayer with the Saints.” His website is www.anthonychiffolo.com .

(The Rev. Dr.) Rayner W. Hesse, Jr., is pastor of St. John’s Episcopal Church in New Rochelle, NY. He is the author of “Jewelrymaking through History: An Encyclopedia.”

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