Background to the Season of Creation

During this season we are encouraged to pray and engage in community events in order to deepen our relationship with our God, our neighbour and the earth we share.

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The Season of Creation is an annual celebration uniting Christians in prayer and action for the protection of our common home. The idea of celebrating 1 September as a day of prayer for creation began at the wish of the Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios in 1989, and was endorsed by Pope Francis in 2015. The season runs from September 1 to October 4, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.

During this season we are encouraged to pray and engage in community events in order to deepen our relationship with our God, our neighbour and the earth we share, being ever more attentive to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.

Writing about the season in 2019 Pope Francis said, “this is the season for letting our prayer be inspired anew,” a season “to reflect on our lifestyles,” and a season “for undertaking prophetic actions … calling for courageous decisions … directing the planet towards life, not death.”

This year’s celebration takes place in the context of the special ‘Laudato Si’ Anniversary Year,’ which Pope Francis opened on Sunday 24 May to coincide with the 5th anniversary of his encyclical. As part of this special year, the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development have again written a letter encouraging Catholics to engage in the Season. Msgr. Duffé, the Dicastery Secretary, writes of the particular relevance this year as the world continues to struggle with the coronavirus pandemic.

The theme for 2020 is “Jubilee for the Earth”. This year we are invited to “consider the integral relationship between rest for the Earth and ecological, economic, social and political ways of living.”

During this Season, we would be pleased to hear of any projects being undertaken in your dioceses to care for our common home. Please contact environment@cbcew.org.uk with any stories you would like to share.

A statement from the Bishops of England and Wales on the ecological crisis can be found here.

Resources

During the Season of Creation, please consider using the following:

Global Healing and Global Caring
Global Healing and Global Caring are free film-based resources to help us to respond to the damage being done to our planet – our common home. It is for parishes, groups and individuals and aims to engage you with Pope Francis’ vital call to care for our common home.

Season of Creation 2020 Celebration Guide
A guide from the organisers of Season of Creation to teach you about the season and help you plan for and celebrate it. You can visit seasonofcreation.org for more materials.

SCIAF Season of Creation ‘Zoom’ sessions
SCIAF (the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund) are celebrating the Season of Creation through a series of events urging Christians across the globe to Care for our Common Home. You can register via the SCIAF website

Novena to St Francis
CAFOD have produced a series of nine brief reflections asking for St Francis of Assisi to pray for us and our world, based on his Canticle of the Sun.

Climate Sunday
A new initiative from Churches Together in Britain and Ireland asking for local churches to hold a Climate Sunday mass or service at some point during the Season of Creation, to commit to reducing carbon emissions and to join a call for strong action on climate change to the UK government in advance of COP26. CAFOD’s ‘Creation Celebration’ guide is perfectly suited for celebrating a Climate Sunday celebration.

Individuals
During Lent last year, Bishop John Arnold used his pastoral letter to challenge all parishes and schools in the Diocese of Salford to make practical responses dealing with climate change. A handout with practical suggestions was also made available at the back of all churches.

Prayers and Liturgy

A Catholic Season of Creation – Sundays of September (Year A, 2020)
“A Catholic Season of Creation” resource explores the Sunday scripture readings to help us find the voice of the earth as the voice of the Holy Spirit. Our common Sunday worship is an easy place to start seeing the natural world in God’s plan of Salvation in Jesus Christ by linking the insights of ecology with Scripture. (Produced by: St Columbans Mission Society)

Our Common Home: Creation Celebration Organisers’ Guide
Join CAFOD in celebrating a Creation Mass ideally on 1 September for the Season of Creation and/or on the 6 October to pray for those involved in the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazonian Region.