Praying at Home Today: Friday 10 September 2021
Praying at home today:
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.
For it was you who formed my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.
Quia tu possedisti renes meos;
suscepisti me de utero matris meae.
Confitebor tibi, quia terribiliter magnificatus es;
mirabilia opera tua,
et anima mea cognoscit nimis.
C’est toi qui as formé mes reins,
qui m’as tissé dans le ventre de ma mère.
Je te loue de ce que je suis une créature si merveilleuse.
Tes œuvres sont admirables,
et je le reconnais bien.
The Liturgy of the Word
Here is today’s Bible reading.
During these next four weeks, I’m reading Pope Francis’s encyclical letter Laudato si’, mi’ Signore – Praise to you, my Lord (LS) – and I hope to share with you a few nuggets from his thoughts on Creation and our stewardship of this planet we call our home.
Francis reminds us (LS16) that there is an intimate relationship between the poor and the fragility of the planet, everything is connected (as indeed Daniel Barenboim has told us), there is a need to critique new forms of technology.
Furthermore, we need forthright and honest debate if local and international policy will help us to deal with the throwaway culture.
Above all, we need a new lifestyle (LS16).
Decline in the quality of human life
and the breakdown of society
Francis asserts that human beings are also “creatures of this world, enjoying a right to life and happiness, and endowed with unique dignity. So we cannot fail to consider the effects on people’s lives of environmental deterioration, current models of development and the throwaway culture” (LS43).
We are conscious of the unruly growth of many cities, becoming unhealthy to live in, because of pollution, but also urban chaos, poor transportation and visual and noise pollution.
With inefficient structures, these cities can be excessively wasteful of energy and water, lacking sufficient green space, instead being chaotic and congested. As human beings, we are not meant to be deprived of nature (LS44).
We need to experience biophilia, yet privatisation frequently restricts people’s access to nature, especially for those living in deprived areas (LS45).
Change is good but it can be harmful: rising unemployment due to technology, social exclusion, inequality; all these can lead to increased violence and other social aggression, drug trafficking and drug use and a consequent loss of identity (LS46).
International and omnipresent media can too easily influence how people think; information overload and propaganda are bedfellows, threatening real relationships with others, built on integrity and wisdom.
Although social media can be a useful tool, it can too easily become a weapon to diminish others and increase self-isolation (cf. LS47).
There is a correlation between the human and the natural environment; these cannot be attended to separately. The poorest and the most vulnerable people on the planet are most affected by environmental deterioration:
Both everyday experience and scientific research show that the gravest effects of all attacks on the environment are suffered by the poorest.
Bolivian Bishops’ Conference:
Pastoral Letter on the Environment and Human Development in Bolivia
23 March 2012, 17
The depletion of fishing reserves hurts small fishing communities; water pollution affects the poor who cannot afford bottled water, and rising sea levels mainly affect poor coastal populations who have nowhere else to go.
These imbalances are also seen in premature mortality of many of the poor, in conflicts caused by a shortage of resources and many other unaddressed global problems (LS48).
Although there is little awareness of how problems especially affect the excluded, the poorest in society, there is no doubt that these sisters and brothers are the people most affected. Billions of people, the majority of the world’s population, are talked about but with little action by those who have the power to change things for the better. This is largely because those doing all the talking live far away from where the poor live, far from their problems and the reality of their lives. An empty “green” rhetoric further serves to mask the issues, the reality that environmental and social justice go hand in hand (LS49).
Francis here addresses the issue of population growth, arguing that this is a refusal to face the issues caused by extreme and selective consumerism by a minority of the population. Attention, however, needs to be paid to imbalances in population density, both nationally and globally, as rises in consumption lead to complex regional situations (LS50).
The inequity between the global north and south produces an economic debt, compounded by commercial imbalances, affecting the environment. The south has for too long fed the demands of the north, at great local cost, e.g. mercury and sulphur dioxide pollution in gold and copper mining respectively.
The warming caused by this consumption particularly affects Africa, with rising temperatures and drought devastating farming.
Rapacious multinational corporations, again, are largely to blame, operating in developing countries in a way that they would never do in their own. After they’ve finished ravishing the earth, they “generously” bequeath unemployment, abandoned towns, deforestation, open pits, polluted rivers, riven hills and the depletion of natural resources (LS51).
This ravishing of poor countries is exacerbated by foreign debt, which is used as a means of controlling them. The irony is that developing countries are both poor economically and rich in the important reserves of the biosphere, yet these resources are plundered by developed countries. This is structurally perverse and iniquitous. Developed countries have a moral obligation to help pay this debt by limiting their consumption of non-renewable energy and by assisting poorer countries to support sustainable development. This assistance needs to be real and authentic.
Greater attention needs to be given to
the needs of the poor, the weak and the vulnerable, in a debate often dominated by more powerful interests.
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence and the Common Good
15 June 2001
Francis concludes this section by asserting that
We need to strengthen the conviction
that we are one human family.
There are no frontiers or barriers,
political or social,
behind which we can hide,
still less is there room
for the globalization of indifference.
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 working in sustainable development
- for all preparing for the COP26 Climate Conference
- for those in most danger from the climate emergency
- for our sisters and brothers driven from their homeland seeking refuge
- for all seeking to preserve our oceans, our forests and our land
- for scientists and politicians
- for all who inspire us.
(In Holy Trinity, Stirling, we invite you to pray today
for Alistair Warwick, Director of Music, the Choir and Music Group.)
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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