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Christians around the world pray for creation

Christians around the world pray for creation

Prayer for Creation at the chapel of the Ecumenical Centre. Photo: Ivars Kupcis/WCC

04 September 2017

Monday morning prayer at the chapel of the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva today celebrated the Season of Creation – the time of year when the worldwide Christian family joins in praying and caring for our common home.

Participants in the service at the Ecumenical Centre - where the offices of the World Council of Churches and of other ecumenical organizations are located - thanked God for the universe, the earth and the life He has created, and prayed that the world may not be ravished by greed or spoiled by the ignorance of human beings.

Season of Creation is celebrated annually in the beginning of September by Christian churches around the globe. From Miami to Manila, Christians are uniting with one purpose: to be stewards of the Earth. This year many Christian communities have engaged in symbolic actions in front of coal mines, fracking wells, and other sites of ecological destruction.

The beginning and the end date of the Season of Creation - 1 September to 4 October - are linked with concern for creation in the Eastern and the Western traditions of Christianity.

The first of September was proclaimed as a day of prayer for the environment by the late Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I in 1989. The Orthodox Church year starts that day with a commemoration of how God created the world. On 4 October, Roman Catholics and other churches from Western traditions commemorate Francis of Assisi, known to many as the author of the Canticle of the Creatures.

The proposal to celebrate a "Time for Creation" during these five weeks was made by the Third European Ecumenical Assembly in Sibiu in 2007. The following year, the WCC Central Committee invited churches to observe "Time for Creation" through prayers and actions. In 2015, Pope Francis has designated 1 September as a World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation for the worldwide Roman Catholic Church as well.

Throughout the years, major Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, and Anglican organizations have joined to encourage the 2.2 billion Christians worldwide to pray and act on ecological issues.

“We invite all Christians and people of good will to celebrate Season of Creation 2017 which has the theme ‘Communion to respond to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor,’ ” said Athena Peralta, WCC programme executive for the Economy of Life. “It underscores that caring for the least among us entails caring for creation. Put in another way, economic justice is inextricably intertwined with ecological justice.”

Among the prayers said in the morning service at Ecumenical center was also the prayer by Pope Francis from Laudato Si”, his encyclical letter on care for our common home. 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.”

Ecumenical Patriarch calls for solidarity in the protection of Creation

WCC invites churches to Season of Creation

Season of Creation” website

Photos from the prayer at Ecumenical Centre, 4 September 2017