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Countdown to the Season of Creation

  • John Woodhouse

The Season of Creation, which starts on 1 September, is a time to renew our relationship with our Creator and all creation through celebration, conversion, and commitment together. During the Season of Creation, we join our sisters and brothers in the ecumenical family in prayer and action for our common home.

Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I proclaimed 1 September as a day of prayer for creation for the Orthodox in 1989. In fact, the Orthodox Church year starts on that day with a commemoration of how God created the world. The World Council of Churches (WCC) was instrumental in making the special time a season, extending the celebration from 1 September until 4 October. Following the leadership of Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I and the WCC, Christians worldwide have embraced the season as part of their annual calendar.

Pope Francis made the Catholic Church's warm welcoming of the season official in 2015. In recent years, statements from religious leaders around the world have also encouraged the faithful to take time to focus on care for creation during the month-long celebration. The season starts 1 September, the Day of Prayer for Creation, and ends 4 October, the Feast of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology, beloved by many Christian denominations. Throughout the month-long celebration, the world's 2.2 billion Christians come together to care for our common home.


The Burning Bush

The burning bush is the symbol for the Season of Creation 2022. Today, the prevalence of unnatural fires is a sign of the devastating effects that human-induced climate change has on the most vulnerable of our planet. Creation cries out as forests crackle, animals flee, and people are forced to migrate due to the fires of injustice.

On the contrary, the fire that called to Moses as he tended the flock on Mt Horeb did not consume or destroy the bush. This flame of the Spirit revealed God's presence. This holy fire affirmed that God heard the cries of all who suffered and promised to be with us as we follow in faith to our deliverance from injustice.


Listen to the voice of creation

In this Season of Creation, this symbol of God's Spirit calls us to listen to the voice of creation. Links to resources are below.

Westminster Cathedral's celebrations will be marked by prayer and information. There will be prayers for creation at Sunday Masses during the Season of Creation and quotes from 'Laudato Si' Care for our common home' in the newsletters and homilies. The Westminster Cathedral Interfaith Group meets on the third Wednesday of the month in the Hinsley room from 2 to 3.30pm. All are welcome. We are studying Laudato Si' Care for our common home and the text is available for £4.95 from St Paul's bookshop and online for free.


John Woodhouse is a Laudato Si' animator and the Westminster Cathedral Interfaith Group Organiser.


Links:

Season of Creation Celebration Guide: https://seasonofcreation.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/SOC-2022-Celebration-Guide-Final-English.pdf

Laudato Si Movement Resources: https://laudatosimovement.org/news/season-of-creation-2022s-symbol-the-burning-bush/ (which includes two short videos introducing the Season of Creation)

Laudato Si' Encyclical: www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html

We are encouraged to sign up to the Laudato Si' Action Platform and pledge to make a difference. Everybody has a part to play however small: https://laudatosiactionplatform.org/

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