The Season of Creation
By mother earth my Lord be praised;
Governed by thee she hath upraised what for our life is needful.
Sustained by thee, through every hour,
She bringeth forth fruit, herb, and flower.
Hymnal 1982, Hymn 406 attributed to St. Francis
The Season of Creation, September 1st through October 4th, is celebrated by Christians around the world as a time for renewing, repairing and restoring our relationship to God, one another, and all of creation. The Society of Saint John the Evangelist & Episcopal Church join this international effort for prayer and action for climate justice and an end to environmental racism and ecological destruction. You can find a wealth of resources for the Season of Creation on the Episcopal Church's website >
During the Season of Creation this year our worship at the Monastery will reflect our praying for the environment by our use of Eucharist Prayer C from the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. Preview this liturgy here >
Resources for the Season of Creation:
In his homily entitled Truth in Love: A Christian Ethos for Climate Emergency, Br. Keith Nelson speaks to an awareness of our human responsibility as stewards of creation: “It is so hard for us to “speak the truth in love” – and perhaps even harder to listen when it is offered. But how utterly necessary this is for our salvation. If I ask myself: “What is the hardest truth I need to hear, and to speak, in love?,” I hear a clear reply: “The truth that creation is unraveling, disintegrating, from the accumulated, sinful action and inaction of humankind.” Listen to or read the entire homily here >
Saint Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), founder of the Order of Friars Minor, is remembered for his renunciation of material possessions and his loyal service and advocacy of the poor.
Br. David Vryhof SSJE writes: “Francis was a man whose life was completely transformed by his encounter, and subsequent relationship of love, with God. He seems to me to have been a man who awakened to new life in God, and who, as a result, saw the world and other people and himself in a completely new light. It was as if he had been born again, infused with a divine light and presence, so that he saw what others could not see and perceived what others could not recognize or comprehend.”
While Francis left little in the way of writings, his spirit of joyous faith comes through most truly in the “Canticle of the Sun” where he praises God through the lens of the created order. Br. David continues: “He awakened to the beauty and wonder of creation. In it he saw God’s love revealed for all to see. Every creature was precious – each offering God its praise and thanks by reason of its very existence. Every mountain and hill, every valley and river, the sun and moon and stars of the sky – they all spoke to him of the majesty, the power, the wisdom, the generosity and love of the Creator. He was in awe of it all, and lived with an abiding sense of wonder and gratitude.
View the full text attributed to Saint Francis in Hymn 406 >
In the calendar of the Church, we celebrate the Feast of St. Francis on October 4th. Perhaps you would enjoy praying the Collect for his feast day throughout the Season of Creation:
“Most high, omnipotent, good Lord, grant your people grace to renounce gladly the vanities of this world; that, following the way of blessed Francis, we may, for love of you, delight in your whole creation with perfectness of joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.”
More SSJE sermons on Saint Francis of Assisi: