Praying at Home Today: Saturday 11 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.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have established;
what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
mortals that you care for them?
Quoniam videbo caelos tuos, opera digitorum tuorum,
lunam et stellas quae tu fundasti.
Quid est homo, quod memor es ejus?
aut filius hominis, quoniam visitas eum?
Quand je contemple le ciel, œuvre de tes mains,
la lune et les étoiles que tu y as placées,
je dis: «Qu’est-ce que l’homme, pour que tu te souviennes de lui,
et le fils de l’homme, pour que tu prennes soin de lui?»
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).
Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last two hundred years.
Francis reminds us that we lack the kind of leadership that will dare to strike out on new paths, risking popularity; in fact, choosing the narrow, difficult road rather than the wide, easy one.
But only with such leadership, looking to the future rather than just for how long they can hold onto power, can the kind of change that’s required be possible.
This change needs to be enshrined in law to hold those in power to account (LS53).
International political responses have been weak, with repeated failure to take the emergency seriously.
(As a reporter said the other day, if the media covered the climate emergency in the same way that it covered the coronavirus, then we would all be much more aware of what needs to be done, by each and every one of us, now.)
As it is, the most we can expect is “superficial rhetoric, sporadic acts of philanthropy and perfunctory expressions of concern for the environment”, opposed to genuine attempts by groups within society to bring about change – these are simply viewed as a nuisance based on romantic ideals or an obstacle to be circumvented (LS54). In other words, vested interests ensure that the status quo ante must be preserved at all cost.
Some countries are genuinely working hard to help deal with climate change and many people have a growing ecological sensitivity but this has hardly changed our habits of consumption (LS55).
Unfortunately, we are easily distracted (often by mass media distraction), dulling our consciousness and conscience as to how limited and finite our planet actually is. These distractions cause many people to deny doing any wrong – they just don’t see the problem right before their eyes (LS56).
Depletion of natural resources will inevitably lead to new wars, harming both the earth and its inhabitants. Worse still are the weapons being developed despite international agreements: chemical, bateriological and biological. Politicians must pay attention to what causes conflicts and do all in their power to prevent financial interests taking centre stage. But this requires vision and courage (LS57)!
There are positive signs in some countries, proving that we have the power to make the required changes, intervening positively for the good of the earth and of us all (LS58).
However, there is also a sense of recklessness; the situation doesn’t look that bad so it’s easy to ignore warnings. This has the effect of minimising the change of lifestyles we need to commit to, procrastinating until it’s too late (LS59).
A variety of opinions
It’s true that different approaches and lines of thought have emerged in response to the crisis, positing several solutions.
There are two extremes. One reassures us that there’s nothing to worry about; technology will find the solutions we need (disregarding ethical considerations or any commitment to change by individuals).
The second is one that views humanity itself as a threat, perhaps the threat, jeopardising the global ecosystem; the only solution for this group is the reduction of the human population and prohibition of any kind of human intervention.
An appropriate response has to lie between these two extremes, and a dialogue is possible between possible proposals developing comprehensive solutions (LS60).
Recognising that honest debate must be encouraged among experts, in many areas of life the Church has no reason to offer a definite opinion. However, we cannot but see that our common home is falling into disrepair. For Christians, this is intolerable. Nevertheless, as people of hope, there is always a way out, we can always redirect our steps to find a new path and find a solution.
But we are reaching a breaking point. With regions already at high risk, there is no longer time for procrastination (LS61).
Is there any hope?
All this sounds very depressing. Nevertheless, for a cure to be found, the diagnosis needs to be secure.
Next week, we will read how Pope Francis refers to the Gospel of Creation, how faith offers a perspective on the goodness of creation, and how Jesus relates to the created world.
Therein, perhaps we can find new hope and the courage to do what we can to work for the good of our common home.
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 on radical solutions to help the poor and the dispossessed
- for all preparing for the COP26 Climate Conference
- for those in most danger from the climate emergency
- for scientists and politicians
- for all who inspire us.
(In Holy Trinity, Stirling, we invite you to pray today
for those still grieving 9/11 twenty years on
for SEC Secretary General John Stuart and General Synod staff
and for HTKidZ and Alistair & Sarah Shaw, whom we should have prayed for yesterday.)
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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