Season of Creation

What is the Season of Creation?

        

The Season of Creation is a month long prayerful observance that calls the planet’s 2.2 billion Christians to pray and care for God’s creation. It’s a time to reflect on our relationship with the environment — not just “distant” nature, but, crucially, the place where we live — and the ways in which our lifestyles and decisions as a society can endanger both the natural world and those inhabiting it, both humans and other creatures.

The ecumenical steering committee that plans and promotes the season each year put it this way:

The Season of Creation is a time to renew our relationship with our Creator and all creation through celebration, conversion, and commitment together. During the Season of Creation, we join our sisters and brothers in the ecumenical family in prayer and action for our common home.

The Season of Creation spans 34 days. It begins Sept. 1, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. It concludes Oct. 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology.

As it happens, the season aligns with the fall harvest season — a time when the state of the Earth might be front of mind for many

More recently, the Season of Creation has become a more ecumenical celebration among all Christians. And the past few years have seen it gain traction among Catholics. For that, you can point to Pope Francis.

                                                

Just months after publishing his 2015 encyclical “Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home,” Pope Francis formally added the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation to the Catholic calendar as an annual day of prayer. And last year, he officially invited Catholics to celebrate the full season.

“Now is the time to rediscover our vocation as children of God, brothers and sisters, and stewards of creation. Now is the time to repent, to be converted and to return to our roots,” he wrote in a letter. “We are beloved creatures of God, who in his goodness calls us to love life and live it in communion with the rest of creation. For this reason, I strongly encourage the faithful to pray in these days that, as the result of a timely ecumenical initiative, are being celebrated as a Season of Creation.”

“We need to strengthen the conviction that we are one single human family.”

“The Earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth. In many parts of the planet, the elderly lament that once beautiful landscapes are now covered with rubbish.”

“Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last 200 years.”

“We are not God. The Earth was here before us and was given to us.”

“The idea of infinite or unlimited growth, which proves so attractive to economists, financiers and experts in technology … is based on the lie that there is an infinite supply of the earth’s goods, and this leads to the planet being squeezed dry at every limit.”

“Yet all is not lost. Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start.”

                                                                 

A Prayer for our Earth from Laudato Si’ 

All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love, that we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one.
O God of the poor,
help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth, so precious in your eyes.
Bring healing to our lives,
that we may protect the world and not prey on it, that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.
Touch the hearts
of those who look only for gain
at the expense of the poor and the earth.
Teach us to discover the worth of each thing, to be filled with awe and contemplation, to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature as we journey towards your infinite light.
We thank you for being with us each day.
Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle.

Resources for the Season of Creation 2020 from the Laudato Si’ Working Group

  1. Sunday Liturgy Notes for the Season of Creation 2020 – click to download Sunday Liturgy Notes for Season of Creation 2020
  2. A Week-Day Prayer Service for the Season of Creation 2020: Cultivating Hope – click here to download A Week Day Prayer Service for the Season of Creation 2020
  3. Practical Actions for Parishioners – click to download Practical Actions for Parishoners 2020
  4. Leaflet for the Season of Creation 2020 – click to download pdf versions for web Cultivating Hope 2020 Web Version or for print print Cultivating Hope Leaflet 2020 Print version