Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Prayer Guide for World Day of Prayer for Creation - Sept 1st

Pope Francis declared in 2015 that every September 1st would be the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, joining with the Orthodox Church which has celebrated on this day since 1989, with the goal of that all believers and communities take the opportunity to renew their vocation to be protectors of God's creation.  Through prayer we offer to God our thanks for the wonderful work that God has entrusted to our care, ask for God's help to protect creation, and ask for forgiveness for the sins we have committed against the earth, our common home.  

We invite you to join in prayer on September 1st and offer this prayer guide as a resource.  We also encourage you to find and join in local ecumenical prayer gatherings for the care of creation in your own city.  



ENVIRONMENT: The space can be decorated as you wish; try to incorporate symbols of the earth, particularly soil, fire, wind, and water.  We suggest you have a lit candle next to each symbol of the earth. 

GUIDE: Let us connect to our own bodies, becoming conscious of each breath we take.  In this prayer, as Christians, we offer our own contribution to combat the current ecological crisis which we are experiencing.  Therefore, we will use the rich spiritual resources we have to motivate us and inspire our passion for caring for creation, remembering always that as believers in Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word, “spirituality is not disconnected from our very body, nor from nature or the realities of this world, but rather it lives in and through them, in communion with all that surrounds us.” (Laudato Si, 216).



Laudato Si: 53
These situations have caused sister earth, along with all the abandoned of our world, to cry out, pleading that we take another course. Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last two hundred years. Yet we are called to be instruments of God our Father, so that our planet might be what he desired when he created it and correspond with his plan for peace, beauty and fullness.

Deuteronomy 30:19 -20
“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the Lord your God, by obeying God’s voice, and by holding fast to God; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”

How is the Word of God speaking to me through these readings? What images or thoughts arise? What is the invitation for me to consider?


Let us now offer our intentions or commitments to our God of all the universe, so that we may be given the grace to assume our responsibility to care for creation through small daily acts, and in that way continuously encourage ourselves to change the way we live for the good of all the earth.   

When beginning to share intentions please light the candles that accompany the symbols of the earth.

GUIDE. We offer these prayers and those of the whole world to the Incarnate Word by praying our closing prayer together: 

A Christian prayer in union with creation By Pope Francis
Father, we praise you with all your creatures. They came forth from your all-powerful hand; they are yours, filled with your presence and your tender love. Praise be to you!

Son of God, Jesus, through you all things were made. You were formed in the womb of Mary our Mother, you became part of this earth, and you gazed upon this world with human eyes. Today you are alive in every creature in your risen glory. Praise be to you!

Holy Spirit, by your light you guide this world towards the Father’s love and accompany creation as it groans in travail. You also dwell in our hearts and you inspire us to do what is good. Praise be to you!

Triune Lord, wondrous community of infinite love, teach us to contemplate you in the beauty of the universe, for all things speak of you. Awaken our praise and thankfulness for every being that you have made. Give us the grace to feel profoundly joined to everything that is.

God of love, show us our place in this world as channels of your love for all the creatures of this earth, for not one of them is forgotten in your sight. Enlighten those who possess power and money that they may avoid the sin of indifference, that they may love the common good, advance the weak, and care for this world in which we live. The poor and the earth are crying out. O Lord, seize us with your power and light, help us to protect all life, to prepare for a better future, for the coming of your Kingdom of justice, peace, love and beauty. Praise be to you! Amen.

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