Praying at Home Today: Monday 6 September 2021
Praying at home today:
Beginning the Season of Creation – Pope Francis’s Laudato si’
For four weeks, following the first Sunday in September until the day before Harvest Sunday, we will be focussing on the season of creation, in preparation for the COP26 Climate Conference in Glasgow.
Although we will follow our usual form of prayer, our readings and some other material will follow those given in Daily Prayer of the Scottish Episcopal Church for this Season of Creation.
This is a good time to be grateful for our beautiful, yet fragile world, and to dedicate ourselves anew as faithful stewards to its protection.
A warm welcome to PrayingAtHome.com, where you can find worship resources for praying at home today or wherever you are.
We hope these readings, prayers, music and the short reflection will help you stay in touch with the Church and to sustain you on your journey through life.
Opening to the Word
You can spend a few moments in silence,
focussing on your breathing
to become more mindful of the present moment
and to open yourself more fully
to God’s presence within you.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth
And it was very good.
In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
All things came into being through the Word,
and without the Word not one thing came into being.
What has come into being in him was life,
and the life was the light of all people.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
Faithfulness will spring up from the ground,
and righteousness will look down from the sky.
Misericordia et veritas obviaverunt sibi;
justitia et pax osculatae sunt.
Veritas de terra orta est,
et justitia de caelo prospexit.
La bonté et la fidélité se rencontrent,
la justice et la paix s’embrassent;
la fidélité pousse de la terre,
et la justice se penche du haut du ciel.
The Liturgy of the Word
Here is today’s Bible reading.
During these next four weeks, I will be reading Pope Francis’s encyclical letter Laudato si’, mi’ Signore – Praise to you, my Lord (LS) – and I hope to share a few nuggets from his thoughts on Creation and our stewardship of it.
Our common home
Francis tells us (LS1) first of all that Francis of Assisi reminds us “that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us.
Praise be to you, my Lord,
through our Sister, Mother Earth,
Who sustains and governs us,
and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs.
Canticle of the Creatures,
in Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol 1,
New York–London–Manila, 1999, 113-114
This is a beautiful image but it is in danger. This sister is crying out to us because of the harm we are doing to it by irresponsibility and abuse.
Instead of seeing ourselves as stewards, carers, of creation, we have become plunderers, destroying it in our avarice.
This sickness of our planet is reflected by a sickness within the human family, whereby the poor are deprived of justice, resulting in violence done to the soil, the water, the air and all forms of life.
As dust of the earth (cf. Genesis 2:7), our bodies are made up of the earth’s elements, we breathe her air and are refreshed by her waters (LS2).
This is no fad, despite false claims by climate change deniers, including some in the Church(!).
Ecumenical and interreligious
This is no new teaching.
It is an ecumenical and inter-religious matter: religious and other leaders have warned us about this problem for decades. Linked closely to the call for a rejection of war and a demand for peace, this is an invitation to a dialogue with all people of good will (LS3).
Paul VI spoke of the ecological concern as “a tragic consequence” of unchecked human activity (LS4), while John Paul II called for a global ecological conversion, one not only scientific but moral, i.e. an authentic human ecology, in which authentic human development has a moral character, taking into account “the nature of each being and of its mutual connection in an ordered system” (LS5).
Numerous scientists, philosophers, theologians and civic groups have enriched the Church’s thinking on these questions, expressing deep concern and offering valuable reflections (LS7).
Patriarch Bartholomew challenges us to acknowledge our sins against creation: destroying the biological diversity of God’s creation, degrading its integrity, stripping the earth, contaminating the earth’s waters, its land, its air and its life – “these are sins”.
To commit a crime against the natural world is a sin against ourselves and a sin against God (LS8).
There are solutions, not only technological but human: replace
- consumption with sacrifice,
- greed with generosity,
- wastefulness with a spirit of sharing;
and accept the world as a sacrament of communion (LS9).
Francis of Assisi
Francis, of course, is the name that Jorge Mario Bergoglio took when he was elected Bishop of Rome by the clergy of that diocese. This will have come to no surprise to anyone who knew Bergoglio and his work amongst the extreme poor, constantly visiting and listening to them, so that he might do all in his power to support those helping to alleviate poverty and promoting community.
Concern for the poor and for creation are central themes of Francis’s ministry as pope; as he explained his choice of this name:
Francis was a man of poverty,
who loved and protected creation.
By choosing to give creatures, no matter how small, the name of brother or sister, Saint Francis was expressing the choice of unity with them, causing a welling-up of sobriety and care for them (LS11).
Faithful to Scripture, the saint invites us “to see nature as a magnificent book in which God speaks to us and grants us a glimpse of [God’s] infinite beauty and goodness” (LS12).
The pope’s appeal to the human family
Recognising that young people, – those who will be most affected by the climate emergency – demand change, wondering “how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded” (LS13).
Francis appeals for a new dialogue about how we shape the future of our planet, a conversation involving everyone, since all are affected.
Whilst there are great signs of hope, there is powerful opposition and also a more general lack of interest, ranging from denial of the problem, indifference and an overreliance on technological solutions. “We require a new and universal solidarity” with all of us cooperating as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to our own culture, experience, involvements and talents (LS14).
Ask the animals, and they will teach you;
the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
Ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you;
the fish of the sea will declare to you.
Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this?
In his hand is the life of every living thing
and the breath of every human being.
Music for reflection
We continue our journey in faith today:
- for those preparing for the COP26 Climate Conference
- for those in most danger from the climate emergency
- for Pope Francis, Patriarch Bartholomew, Justin Welby and all religious leaders
- for scientists and politicians
- for all who inspire us.
(In Holy Trinity, Stirling, we invite you to pray today
for Cathy Johnston our Lay Rep.)
For all who have asked for our prayers.
a moment of silence
Pray for us all
The Lord’s Prayer
We can say the Lord’s Prayer in any language or version we choose.
Here it is, in English, Latin and French.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your Kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those
who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom,
the power and the glory are yours,
now and for ever.
Pater noster, qui es in cælis;
sanctificetur nomen tuum:
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua,
sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie:
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris:
et ne nos inducas in tentationem:
sed libera nos a malo.
Quia tuum est regnum,
et potestas, et gloria, in saecula.
Notre Père, qui es aux cieux,
que ton nom soit sanctifié,
que ton règne vienne,
que ta volonté soit faite sur la terre comme au ciel.
Donne-nous aujourd’hui notre pain de ce jour.
Pardonne-nous nos offenses,
comme nous pardonnons aussi à ceux qui nous ont offensés.
Et ne nous laisse pas entrer en tentation
mais délivre-nous du Mal.
Car c’est à toi qu’appartiennent le règne,
la puissance et la gloire
pour les siècles des siècles. Amen.
God Most High,
maker of heaven and earth,
you created humankind in your own image
and entrusted the whole world to human care:
give us grace to serve you faithfully,
that we might be trustworthy stewards of your creation,
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Collect for the Season of Creation
Returning to the world
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Thank you for joining us in praying at home.
Oremus pro invicem.
In these strange times, we are called to trust
There are several books by Brother Roger of the Taizé Community from many booksellers.
Other worship resources
- Worship resources from Holy Trinity Church, Stirling, Scotland
- Music for reflection
- RSCM: Hymn for the Day and Sunday Self-Service
- Liturgy resources from New Zealand – Aotearoa
- Prayer live from Taizé
- CCC – Christ, Covid, Community (Facebook Group)
- Live-streamed liturgy from Pluscarden Abbey, Scotland
Praying at Home Today: Acknowledgements
In that lectionary, the readings are in the following order: Old Testament reading, Psalm, New Testament reading; we have changed the order to the more usual OT, Psalm and NT.
English Bible texts are usually from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Latin Bible texts are from Biblia Sacra Vulgata, and are in the Public Domain.
French Bible texts are usually from Version Segond 21, copyright © 2007 Société Biblique de Genève by Société Biblique de Genève.
Images, unless otherwise stated, are from lockdown in Scotland, by Alistair Warwick.
Music engraved by The Art of Music.
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