Your browser is not Javascript enable or you have turn it off. We recommend you to activate for better security reasonApril 22, 2019 marks the 49th anniversary of Earth Day

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April 22, 2019 marks the 49th anniversary of Earth Day

CND

“To follow Jesus is to be a wholemaker,
essentially to love the world into new being and life.”

Sr. Ilia Delio, Making All Things New: Catholicity, Cosmology, Consciousness

Leader: April 22, 2019 marks the 49th anniversary of Earth Day, a secular celebration that many faith communities have incorporated into their annual calendars for awareness and action. The theme chosen for this year is Protect Our Species.

Human activity (climate change, deforestation, habitat loss, trafficking and poaching, unsustainable agriculture, pollution and pesticides) is directly linked to the rapid reduction of plant and wildlife populations throughout our common home. We are the main drivers of species loss, but can also be the main protectors of all of God’s creation. This Earth Day prayer service from Catholic Climate Covenant calls upon us to live more faithfully and act more justly with all creation by being good stewards of all of God’s creation, examining the importance of biodiversity and species loss, and reflecting on our response.

Reader 1

Look up at the sky —
The heavens so blue, the sun so radiant,
The clouds so playful, the soaring raptors,
The meadows in bloom, the woodland creatures,
The rivers singing their way to the sea,
Wolf song on the land, whale song in the sea,
Celebration everywhere, wild, riotous,
Immense as a monsoon lifting an ocean of joy,
Spilling it down over the landscape,
Drenching us all with a deluge of delight
As we open our arms and rush toward each other,
You and I and all of us,

Moved by that vast compassionate Presence

That brings all things together in intimate Celebration,

Celebration that is the universe itself.

-adapted from “Every Being Has Rights” by Thomas Berry

Opening Song or read Psalm 148: Praise to God from Creation (attached)

Reader 2: A reading from the Book of Job

Turn to the animals and let them teach you; the birds of the air will tell you the truth. Listen to the plants of Earth and learn from them; let the fish become your teachers. In God’s hand is the soul of every living thing; in God’s hand is the breath of all humankind. - Job 12:7-8, 10

Note: Please pause after each of the readings.

Reader 3

“It is not enough, however, to think of different species merely as potential “resources” to be exploited, while overlooking the fact that they have value in themselves. Each year sees the disappearance of thousands of plant and animal species which we will never know, which our children will never see, because they have been lost forever. The great majority become extinct for reasons related to human activity. Because of us, thousands of species will no longer give glory to God by their very existence, nor convey their message to us. We have no such right.” — Laudato Si’ 33

Reader 4

“…all creatures, angels, people, animals, inanimate objects will say each in their own tongue: ‘It is not we who have made ourselves: God has given us being.’ The sun proclaims this truth, that unless its’ Creator sustained it, it would fall back into nothingness. The rocks tell that they receive their firmness and strength from God. The smallest creatures repeat the same in a language which is mute to us but heard by their Creator.” --The Writings of Marguerite Bourgeoys, p. 180

Reader 5

“The ecological age fosters the deep awareness of the sacred presence within each reality of the universe. There is an awe and reverence due to the seas and the continents; to all living forms of trees and flowers; to the myriad expressions of life in the sea; to the animals of the forests and the birds of the air. To wantonly destroy a living species is to silence forever a divine voice.” — Thomas Berry, The Dream of the Earth

Reflection Questions (choose one to share with the group)

1) Which phrase, quote, or reading spoke to you? Why?

2) In what ways are you called to protect biodiversity and endangered species?

3) Sr. Ilia Delio tells us that “To follow Jesus is to be a wholemaker, essentially to love the world into new being and life.” Do you see your ministry of creation care as part of making the world whole, and bringing the world to new being and new life? How is protecting biodiversity a way to follow Christ?

Sharing

Intentions (Adapted from Prayer by the Green Church Project, Montréal, Canada)

Leader: Creator God, we pray for our brothers and sisters of the air: chickadees, cardinals, blue jays, owls, crows, seagulls…

All: May their sacred presence move us to action and decrease the pollution in the air we breathe.

L: Creator God, we pray for our brothers and sisters of water: shellfish, algae, salmon, trout, frogs…

All: Wake our compassion at the sight of their wounds so that we cease polluting the water.

L: Creator God, we pray for our brothers and sisters of the earth: squirrels, deer, maples, the pine trees, the tomato plants and the worms…

All: May their humility and simplicity inspire us to live according to your will.

L: Creator God, we pray for the world’s leaders and policymakers, for mayors, governors, and presidents of companies.

All: May they hear the call from God through other creatures and make sustainable, wise decisions.

L: Creator God, we pray for the Sisters, Associates, and friends in our community.

All: We ask that you give us the courage to act justly and live faithfully in caring for our common home. May we be good stewards of all your creation.

L: For the intentions we hold in our hearts (pause)…Creator God, hear our prayer.

All: Amen

Closing Prayer

All:

Gracious God, may this be for us a time of awakening to a new reverence for life. Through your grace, give us the firm resolve to care for our common home by respecting life in all its forms, cherishing diversity, and working together for justice, peace, and sustainability in our world. May we always take time to see and reverence the beauty of our earth—joyfully celebrating her today and every day. We ask this through Jesus, who taught us the way. Amen.

Closing Song (optional)

Prayer Service from https://www.earthday.org/campaigns/endangered-species/earthday2019/ EarthDay 2019, “All Creation Gives God Praise: Protecting Biodiversity in a Time of Climate Crisis” (adapted)

Praise to God from Creation, Psalm 148 1-4, 7-13

Side 1:

Praise our God! Praise God from the heavens; Praise God in the heights! Praise God, all His angels; Praise God, all His hosts! Praise God, sun and moon; Praise God, all you stars of light! Adore the Holy One, you highest heavens. Acclaim the merciful One, you deepest depths.

Side 2:

Praise our God from the earth, you great sea creatures and all the depths; Fire and hail, snow and clouds; Stormy wind and gentle breezes; Mountains and all hills; Fruitful trees and all cedars; Beasts and all cattle; creeping things and flying fowl;

Side 1:

Worship the glorious One, leaders of the earth and all peoples; All thinkers and judges of the earth, both young men and maidens, Old men and women and children, too.

Side 2:

Holy One, you have blessed your people. Let praise fill the hearts of our faithful ones. Bless the children and hold your people close to your heart.

 

 

 

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