· “World Day of Prayer for Creation provides an opportunity for repentance for the ways in which our lifestyles may be contributing to the suffering of others” – Bishop McAreavey
· “The key message of this day is one of empowerment: through prayer we can make a difference … It demonstrates to our elected representatives that the protection of creation is important to us” – Bishop McAreavey
Pope Francis has called for a World Day of Prayer for all Creation to take place tomorrow 1 September 2015. Please see two special prayers below. Welcoming the initiative on behalf of the Council for Justice & Peace of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Bishop John McAreavey said:
“Many local Church communities around the world are preparing to mark Creation Time, which begins tomorrow 1 September, with a special liturgy celebrating the joy of creation, alongside awareness-raising activities to protect the natural environment. With this new World Day of Prayer, the Holy Father reminds us that this work connects us both to God and to all people throughout the world. It builds on the very positive local leadership demonstrated by Churches.
“This moment of global solidarity is in stark contrast to the destructive individualism which was highlighted by Pope Francis in his encyclical letter Laudato Si’ (Praise Be), published in June, and which appeals to every person living on our planet to take care of our common home. As we mark this World Day of Prayer we are called to think of those who are most acutely feeling the consequences of environmental degradation and destruction. These are some of the poorest and most vulnerable populations in the developing world. The injustice is all the greater since those affected have contributed least to the exploitation of the earth’s natural resources. The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has proposed that the World Day of Prayer provides an opportunity for repentance for the ways in which our lifestyles may be contributing to the suffering of others. We need to have the courage to hear the cry of the poor and see how this is connected to the cry of the earth.
“The key message of this World Day of Prayer, however, is one of empowerment: through prayer we can make a difference. As world leaders prepare to gather in Paris in December for a global summit on climate change, this World Day of Prayer gives powerful moral support to their actions. It demonstrates to our elected representatives that the protection of creation is important to us. It ensures that the Christian message of hope finds a place in the discussions.”
Notes for Editors
· Bishop John McAreavey, Bishop of Dromore, is chair of the Council for Justice and Peace of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference.
· Tomorrow evening Christians of all denominations in Dublin have been invited by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, to respond to Pope Francis’ call, with Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, to celebrate the World Day of Prayer for all Creation. Archbishop Martin and leaders of Christian Churches in Dublin will come together to mark this unique occasion in prayer, music and reflection. Pope Francis announced the World Day of Prayer for all Creation following the publication of his ground-breaking encyclical Laudato Si. Pope Francis said, “It offers to individual believers and to the community a precious opportunity to renew our personal participation in this vocation as custodians of creation, raising to God our thanks for the marvellous works that He has entrusted to our care, invoking his help for the protection of creation and his mercy for the sins committed against the world in which we live.” Tomorrow’s ceremony will take place at 7:30pm in Holy Cross Church, Holy Cross Diocesan Centre, Clonliffe Road, in Dublin, and will include readings and reflections on Laudato Si’, with music from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, with Ellen Cranitch and Denise Kelly, Psalms of Praise for Creation and Thanksgiving as the Harvest approaches.
· The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has published a proposal to encourage the faithful to organize in their particular Churches an hour of Eucharistic Adoration on the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation for tomorrow. The proposal, which opens with a brief audio-visual welcome, is offered on the dicastery’s website, www.iustitiaetpax.va, under the special section dedicated to Laudato Si’ . It is available for download in English. See also the special World Day of Creation web feature on www.catholicbishops.ie.
· Prayers for Creation Time:
A prayer for our earth
All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love, that we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one.
O God of the poor,
help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth, so precious in your eyes.
Bring healing to our lives,
that we may protect the world and not prey on it, that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.
Touch the hearts
of those who look only for gain
at the expense of the poor and the earth.
Teach us to discover the worth of each thing, to be filled with awe and contemplation, to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature as we journey towards your infinite light.
We thank you for being with us each day.
Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle
for justice, love and peace.
A Christian prayer in union with creation
Father, we praise you with all your creatures.
They came forth from your all-powerful hand; they are yours, filled with your presence and your tender love.
Praise be to you!
Son of God, Jesus,
through you all things were made.
You were formed in the womb of Mary our Mother, you became part of this earth, and you gazed upon this world with human eyes.
Today you are alive in every creature
in your risen glory.
Praise be to you!
Holy Spirit, by your light
You guide this world towards the Father’s love and accompany creation as it groans in travail.
You also dwell in our hearts
and you inspire us to do what is good.
Praise be to you!
Triune Lord, wondrous community of infinite love, teach us to contemplate you in the beauty of the universe, for all things speak of you.
Awaken our praise and thankfulness
for every being that you have made.
Give us the grace to feel profoundly joined to everything that is.
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.
The poor and the earth are crying out.
O Lord, seize us with your power and light, help us to protect all life, to prepare for a better future, for the coming of your Kingdom of justice, peace, love and beauty.
Praise be to you!
For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444