“Dear Mother Earth, who day by day, Unfoldest blessings on our way, O praise him, Alleluya!” (From St Francis Canticle of Creation)
In 1989 the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople initiated September 1st as a prayer day for the care of Creation for Orthodox Churches. This year Pope Francis has joined this initiative, extending the day to the Roman Catholic Church, and inviting other Christians to join too.
Pope Francis has written: “living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.” He has gone on to say ““the life of the spirit is not dissociated from the body or from nature, but lived in communion with all worldly realities..”
For us at St Chrysostom’s 5pm Mass on September 1st will mark the beginning of the Season of Creation, which we are observing for the first time in our parish liturgical cycle. The season will extend to the Feast of St Francis, Sunday October 4th, which will be a day of special thanksgiving for God’s gifts in creation (our Harvest festival). During the season we will encourage wonder at the beauty and variety of our world and universe, and a spirit of reverence and care for the whole earth and all of God’s creation on our planet.