Thank you for sharing with SSJE in celebrating the seasons of the Church Year. The practice of following the liturgical calendar, year in and year out, year by year, adds dimension and depth to our experience of faith. We hope that these resources will deepen your own practice, this season and in the seasons to come.
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 ecumenical family in prayer and action for our common home.
The season starts 1 September, the Day of Prayer for Creation, and ends 4 October, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology beloved by many Christian denominations.
This month is a time for people of faith to renew their relationship with God and all creation through celebration, prayer, and action.
The Psalmist declares, “The heavens are telling the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims God’s handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge…their voice is not heard, yet their voice goes out through all the Earth, and their words to the end of the world.” (19: 1-4) Creation never ceases to proclaim, but do we listen?
History of Creation Season
The Season of Creation 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. In 1989 Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitros I proclaimed September 1 as the Orthodox Day of Prayer for Creation. Subsequently, the World Council of Churches (WCC) extended the celebration until October 4, the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. In turn, in 2015 Pope Francis made the Season of Creation official for the Roman Catholic Church. The Episcopal Church joins this international effort for prayer and action for climate justice and an end to environmental racism and ecological destruction.
During Creation season, those who join us in the Chapel might notice some key changes to our worship:
- The Opening Acclamation will acknowledge God as the Creator and the on-going process of creation in our midst.
- The Confession of Sin will acknowledge our failure to honor God by not claiming our kinship with all God’s creatures, by walking heavily on the earth, for wasting the earth’s resources, and holding future generations hostage to our greed. We ask God to renew in us the resolve to keep and conserve God’s creation as God desires and intends.
- The Sunday preachers will reflect on our responsibilities to God’s creation as we bring awareness to the climate emergency effecting the world.
- The Prayers of the People will be chosen from those recommended from the Episcopal Church, the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, and others crafted by SSJE Brothers.
- We will close the Season of Creation by celebrating the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi on Sunday, October 2nd.
Suggestions for Prayer
- Psalms 8, 19, 107, 139
- Book of Common Prayer, p. 827—828
Prayers for the Natural Order
- Book of Common Prayer, p. 840
Thanksgivings for the Natural Order
Praying through Song & Poetry
Canticle 12: A Song of Creation
Hymn 292: “O Jesus crowned with all renown”Hymn 412: “Earth and all stars”
Hymn 416: “For the beauty of the earth”
Hymn 434: “Nature with open volume stands”Hymn 517: “How lovely is thy dwelling place”Hymn 566: “From thee all skill and science flow”
Hymn 580: “God, who stretched the spangled heavens
Praying the Questions
- The word “creation“ is often used to denote the act of Creation described in Genesis 1. Christian tradition, however, understands creation in a more significant way: Creation means something created—brought into being from nothing—and God’s action of creating is not limited to the primordial moments of the universe. Creation is, therefore, ongoing—it is happening in this moment. How is God creating you, (or your life, your loved ones, the world around you) day-by-day?
- Creation also involves another dimension in the Christian sense of the word: for Christ inaugurates by his resurrection God’s recreation of the whole universe. Pray with the idea of recreation or new creation. How is God making you and the whole of creation new?
Resources to Go Deeper
We warmly share an ecumenical resource for celebrating the Season of Creation, assembled by a friend of the community, Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, and approved for use by the Dioceses of Massachusetts.
Links to Explore More