31 Aug 1 September – Praying for the Care of Creation
O Creator and Master of time and the ages,
Triune and Merciful God of all:
grant blessings for the course of this year,
and in Your boundless mercy save those who worship You and cry out in fear:
“O Savior, grant blessings to all mankind!”
From Orthodox Liturgy for 1 September
Many Eastern and Western churches have traditionally celebrated ‘Time for Creation’ (or Creation Time … or The Season of Creation) in the period from 1 September to 4 October. The dates are significant in the Eastern and Western traditions: 1 September is the beginning of the Orthodox Church Year, when the liturgy recollects God’s gracious creation of the world; since 1989 it has also been, in the Orthodox tradition, a day of prayer for creation. October the 4th, meanwhile, is the day when many Western churches remember St Francis of Assisi.
At the launch of the papal encyclical “Laudato Si” earlier this year, the Ecumenical Patriarch’s representative suggested that the Catholic church unite with the Orthodox in making 1 September a day of prayer for creation – and during August, Pope Francis released a letter calling Catholics to do so. Anglicans and Lutherans are also joining in, seeing the day as part of their ongoing commitment to prayer and fasting for climate justice on the 1st of the month.
This is an annual event – but it is particularly timely this year, as we prepare for the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals in September and the Paris climate talks in November/December.
You can take part at home … on your own … with friends or family … in your church. Below are some resources you might find helpful.
- Liturgy proposed by the Vatican for the World Day of Prayer
- Material prepared by the Evangelical Environmental Network (USA)
- Our September Prayer Points
- Brief ecumenical service of prayer for the environment “in a Franciscan key”
- Caretakers of God’s Creation service with focus on earth, air, fire, water
- A Collection of Greek Orthodox prayers and reflections on the environment