World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation
1 September 2019
Pope Francis has established 1 September as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, encouraging the Catholic community around the world to pray for our common home.
The day is inspired by Pope Francis' landmark encyclical Laudato Si’, which calls on "every person living on this planet" to care for our shared Earth.
He calls us all to celebrate this opportune moment to “reaffirm [our] personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation, as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live.”
This World Day of Prayer also falls at the beginning of Creation Time, which runs until 4 October, the feast of St Francis of Assisi. This is an ecumenical season dedicated to prayer for the protection of creation and the promotion of sustainable lifestyles.
Shortly after Creation Time this year, a Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will take place, focusing on the Amazon region and integral ecology. This will be an opportunity for the Church to listen to the people of the Amazon and respond with them to the devastation facing them and their environment.
How to respond to the World Day of Prayer
There are many ways to respond to Pope Francis’ call to care for the gift of God’s creation – why not take some time out of your day on 1 September to walk in your local park or take a few moments to thank God for the flowers growing in your garden?
You can download this beautiful prayer in union with creation before 1 September, knowing that millions of our brothers and sisters around the world will be joining in communion.
“Pope Francis is calling us to an ecological conversion,” says Susy Brouard, who works in the Theology team here at CAFOD. “His encyclical reminds us that we have a responsibility to our Earth, each other and to generations yet to come.
"The World Day of Prayer is another opportunity for us to connect with our creator God and allow the Lord to redefine our relationship with the environment: from one of consumption and control to one of care and protection".
You could organise a creation liturgy in your parish to celebrate the World Day of Prayer.
Or you could organise a card-signing and prayer writing event for Generations Unite.
Or get together with others in your church and reflect on the themes of Laudato Si'.
If you cannot mark the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation itself, you could hold an event at some time during Creation Time (1 September – 4 October 2019).