Season of Creation 2020Resources and Reflections
During this season we are encouraged to pray and engage in community events in order to deepen our relationship with our God, our neighbour and the earth we share.
In addition to the resources offered here we will also provide weekly reflections starting on August 30th which can be used by individuals or perhaps on-line with your different parish groups.
The Season of Creation
is an annual celebration uniting Christians in prayer and action for the protection of our common home. The idea of celebrating 1 September as a day of prayer for creation began at the wish of the Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios in 1989, and was endorsed by Pope Francis in 2015. The season runs from September 1 to October 4, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.
During this season we are encouraged to pray and engage in community events in order to deepen our relationship with our God, our neighbour and the earth we share, being ever more attentive to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.
Writing about the season in 2019 Pope Francis said, “this is the season for letting our prayer be inspired anew,” a season “to reflect on our lifestyles,” and a season “for undertaking prophetic actions … calling for courageous decisions … directing the planet towards life, not death.”
This year’s celebration takes place in the context of the special ‘Laudato Si’ Anniversary Year,’ which Pope Francis opened on Sunday 24 May to coincide with the 5th anniversary of his encyclical. As part of this special year, the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development have again written a letter encouraging Catholics to engage in the Season. Msgr. Duffé, the Dicastery Secretary, writes of the particular relevance this year as the world continues to struggle with the coronavirus pandemic.
The theme for 2020 is “Jubilee for the Earth”. This year we are invited to “consider the integral relationship between rest for the Earth and ecological, economic, social and political ways of living.”
During this Season, we would be pleased to hear of any projects being undertaken in your dioceses to care for our common home. Please contact email@example.com with any stories you would like to share.
A statement from the Bishops of England and Wales on the ecological crisis can be found here.
“Jubilee for the Earth: New Rhythms, New Hope.”
1st September – 4th October
From September to October each year the Christian Community celebrates the Season of Creation by praying and acting together to protect our common home. It begins on 1st September, the World day of Prayer for Creation. As followers of Christ from around the globe, we share a common role as caretakers of God’s creation. We see that our well-being is interwoven with its well-being.
The theme of this year’s Season of Creation is Jubilee for the Earth: New Rhythms, New Hope. We are invited to consider the integral relationship between rest for the Earth and ecological, economic, social and political ways of living. The far-reaching effects of the global pandemic, COVID-19 has shown us of the need for just and sustainable systems.
This resource, along with many other available on-line, is to support our desire to engage with this Season of Creation. It offers Scripture, Prayers, the opportunity for individual and group reflection (albeit via Teams or Zoom) and some actions which we may consider as part of our commitment to working for the protection of our world.
Apart from week one which starts our journey on 1st September with the World Day of Prayer for Creation the resource follows the Sundays of September up until Sunday 4th October, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.
It is suggested that you begin your time of prayer and reflection by creating a prayerful space, by lighting a candle and having a moment of silence before beginning.
At the end of the prayer time there are some points for action so that we can take our prayer into the heart of our everyday lives.
Booklet to accompany this month: week one Season of Creation
Janet Parsons, a parishioner of St. Pius X and Sacred heart offers her own reflection on a specific quote from Laudato Si. Janet is one of a number of parishioners participating in a Laudato Si’ Animator’s course with Global Catholic Climate Movement.
Love Your Neighbour
The theme of this week’s prayer for the Season of Creation is taken from our Sunday readings, which call us to love our neighbour, to be reconciled when there is conflict and show by our words and actions our desire to build peaceful communities where everyone can thrive. For every community to thrive, Pope Francis reminds us that we must work together to ensure that our common home is protected, that there is ‘sustainable development and integral development’ and the poorest are not excluded.
The Lord is Kind and Merciful
The Introduction to the Missal is a rich source of theology. The entire Eucharistic celebration is planned in such a way that it leads to conscious, active and full participation of the faithful. In body and in mind believers can burn with faith, hope, and charity #18. Believers remember the loving kindness of God as they use material things in prayerful actions to convey sacred mysteries – signs and symbols. The water of baptism and oils of anointing; bread and wine bringing spiritual nourishment: these are all gifts of Earth and work of human hands.
Today, we celebrate the grace of God loving us into existence and giving Earth as our home. In our time of prayer this week we are encouraged, by our Sunday Readings, to reflect on God’s merciful love and invitation we are offered to respond in the same way to those who have offended us. The capacity to forgive and be forgiven is necessary if cycles of violence are to be broken. We do not have to do this alone. The love which God has for us also brings forgiveness and the chance to renew our relationships with one another and with our world.
To Give without Counting the Cost
Our Sunday readings this week invite us to remember that God is near and, like the generous landowner, gives equally to all his workers. Let us not take for granted the gift of the countryside and the people surrounding us. We, too, are called to do what we can without counting the cost to ourselves but opening our hearts generously to the needs of our world.
Pope Francis calls us all to celebrate this opportune moment to “reaffirm our personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation, as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live.”
Actions speak louder than words
In the parable of the two sons, Jesus asks us to think whether our words and actions are in agreement. It is easy to talk, to pronounce and to make statements. It is more difficult to give time, effort and attention. Every Sunday at Mass we profess our faith, a faith which through our Baptism we are commissioned to live out in the daily activities of our lives. Jesus values a few small acts more than many fine words. it is easy for us to talk about the needs of our common world, but it takes more effort to do something in response. As we continue to reflect on the needs of our world and specifically the way that we seek to protect our planet and those countries most affected by climate change, we are encouraged to take small steps and engage in small activities which slowly but surely will have an impact for the greater good.
World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation
Father, Lord of all creation,
we praise you with all your creatures
and the whole universe that comes forth from the work of Your hands.
We acknowledge the privilege and responsibility
that You give us as stewards of Your creation.
In our ignorance we have done damage to our common home
and our brothers and sisters are suffering.
Through faithfully following your Son
guide and direct us to prepare for a better future.
Teach us to contemplate You in the beauty of the universe,
for all things speak of You.
Give us the grace to recognise, respect and protect all You have created,
using wisely all that you have entrusted to us.
who first hovered over the dawn of creation and drew order out of the chaos
help us to build your kingdom of justice, love, peace and beauty where the poor of the earth are crying out.
You, who live and reign, world without end, Amen.
During the Season of Creation, please consider using the following:
Global Healing and Global Caring
Global Healing and Global Caring are free film-based resources to help us to respond to the damage being done to our planet – our common home. It is for parishes, groups and individuals and aims to engage you with Pope Francis’ vital call to care for our common home.
Season of Creation 2020 Celebration Guide
A guide from the organisers of Season of Creation to teach you about the season and help you plan for and celebrate it. You can visit seasonofcreation.org for more materials.
SCIAF Season of Creation ‘Zoom’ sessions
SCIAF (the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund) are celebrating the Season of Creation through a series of events urging Christians across the globe to Care for our Common Home. You can register via the SCIAF website.
Novena to St Francis
CAFOD have produced a series of nine brief reflections asking for St Francis of Assisi to pray for us and our world, based on his Canticle of the Sun.
A new initiative from Churches Together in Britain and Ireland asking for local churches to hold a Climate Sunday mass or service at some point during the Season of Creation, to commit to reducing carbon emissions and to join a call for strong action on climate change to the UK government in advance of COP26. CAFOD’s ‘Creation Celebration’ guide is perfectly suited for celebrating a Climate Sunday celebration.
During Lent last year, Bishop John Arnold used his pastoral letter to challenge all parishes and schools in the Diocese of Salford to make practical responses dealing with climate change. A handout with practical suggestions was also made available at the back of all churches.
Prayers and Liturgy
A Catholic Season of Creation – Sundays of September (Year A, 2020)
“A Catholic Season of Creation” resource explores the Sunday scripture readings to help us find the voice of the earth as the voice of the Holy Spirit. Our common Sunday worship is an easy place to start seeing the natural world in God’s plan of Salvation in Jesus Christ by linking the insights of ecology with Scripture. (Produced by: St Columbans Mission Society)
Our Common Home: Creation Celebration Organisers’ Guide
Join CAFOD in celebrating a Creation Mass ideally on 1 September for the Season of Creation and/or on the 6 October to pray for those involved in the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazonian Region.