The leaders of a number of Christian Churches in Dublin will gather today to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Care of all Creation. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and the other church leaders will mark it in prayer, music and reflection. The ceremony in Dublin 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.
Pope Francis announced the World Day of Prayer for the Care of all Creation last year following the publication of his encyclical letter Laudato Si’. Today’s Dublin ceremony marking the second World Day of Prayer for the Care of All Creation takes place at 7:30pm this evening in Holy Cross Church, Holy Cross Diocesan Centre, Clonliffe Road, Dublin 3.
1 September also marks the beginning of Creation Time which continues until 4 October, the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi. Creation Time celebrates the joy of creation and encourages awareness-raising initiatives to protect the natural environment. The importance of caring for all creation was highlighted by Pope Francis in his encyclical letter Laudato Si’ (Praise Be), published in June 2015.
In his encyclical, Pope Francis appealed to every person living on our planet to take care of our common home. He also called on us 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 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. They said that 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.
Pope Francis reminds us that, “We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all.” He points to our throwaway culture and asks that, “Humanity is called to recognise the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption, in order to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it.”
Pope Francis has prepared a message for the celebration of the second World Day of Prayer for the Care of All Creation, entitled ‘Show Mercy to our Common Home’. From its very title, the message situates our living-out of Laudato Si’ squarely within the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
The Message will be presented this morning 1 September in the Vatican Press Hall. The press conference can be watched via live streaming (audio-video) at http://www.radiovaticana.va/ where it will subsequently remain available on demand.
A number of resources have been made available for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of All Creation and for Creation Time 2016. These are available on catholicbishops.ie.