CARE FOR CREATION

A Scripture Service

 

Song: All sing:

 

Sing a new song, sing a new song, and wait upon the promise of the Lord.

 

Creation sings a new song to the Lord, the universal energies rejoice.

Through all the magnitudes of space and time, creatures proclaim the grandeur of Christ.

 

The mountains and the valleys and the plains, the cattle and the wild beasts and the birds,

the shadows and the clouds, the rain and snow, praise and reflect the bounty of Christ.

 

The ocean deeps, the currents and the tides, the water plants, the fishes and the whales,

the storm, the reef, the water spout, the calm, praise and reflect the wonder of Christ.

 

The fruit tress in their seasons and the vine, the eucalypt, the cedar, and the palm,

the lotus and the orchid and the rose, praise and reflect the beauty of Christ.

 

The human eye, the shaping hand, the mind, with number and with symbol and design,

in work and play, and artistry and prayer, praise and reflect the wisdom of Christ.

 

The love of man and woman clear as dawn, the will for truth and justice broad as day,

the wisdom of the heart profound as night, praise and reflect the glory of Christ.

James McAuley

Introduction:

 

Leader:            In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

                        May the Lord Jesus Christ, the image of the unseen God

                        and the first‑born of all creation, be always with us.

All:                  Amen.

 

Penitential Prayer:

 

Leader: Aware of Godís love for his creatures

and of his calling us to care for creation,

let us ask pardon of the Lord Jesus, for our carelessness at times.

 

Lord Jesus, you care about all creatures.

Lord, have mercy.                         All: Lord, have mercy.

 

Christ, you came that all may have life.

Christ, have mercy.                        All: Christ, have mercy.

 

Lord Jesus, you live in each of us.

Lord, have mercy.                         All: Lord, have mercy.

 

Leader: Have mercy on us, Lord,

and forgive us the harm that we have done to your creation.

Open our hearts to care for the earth and for one another,

and lead us to everlasting life.             All: Amen.

 

Song: All sing:

 

"The Beatitudes" (Blessed are the poor in spirit)

Peter Kearney. Published by J. Albert & Sons Pty. Ltd., Sydney.

Prayer:

 

All: God, Creator and Sustainer of all that exists,

we praise you, the source of all that we have and are.

Teach us to acknowledge and to care for

the many good things your infinite love has given us.

Help us to love you with all our heart and all our strength.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

First Reading: The Wonders of Nature            Si 43: 19-20,23-28, 30-31, 36-37

 

Reader: A reading from the Book of Ecclesiasticus

 

(The Lord) sprinkles snow like birds alighting,

it comes down like locusts settling.

The eye marvels at the beauty of its whiteness

and the mind is amazed at its falling.

 

He swallows up the mountains and scorches the desert,

like a fire he consumes the vegetation.

But the mist heals everything in good time,

after the heat falls the reviving dew.

 

By his own resourcefulness he has tamed the abyss,

and planted it with islands.

Those who sail the sea tell of its dangers,

their accounts fill our ears with amazement:

for there too there are strange and wonderful works,

animals of every kind and huge sea creatures.

Thanks to him all ends well,

and all things hold together by means of his word.

 

Where shall we find sufficient power to glorify him,

since he is the Great One, above all his works,

the awe‑inspiring Lord, stupendously great,

and wonderful in his power?

 

Many mysteries remain even greater than these,

for we have seen only a few of his works,

the Lord himself having made all things,

and having given wisdom to the devout.

Jerusalem Bible

Reader:            This is the Word of the Lord.

All:                  Thanks be to God.

 

Responsorial Psalm:                                           Dan 3:75‑81

 

L.            Mountains and hills! bless the Lord.

All:  Give glory and eternal praise to him.

 

L.         Every thing that grows on the earth! bless the Lord.

All: Give glory and eternal praise to him.

 

L.         Springs of water! bless the Lord.

All:  Give glory and eternal praise to him.

 

L.         Seas and rivers! bless the Lord.

All:  Give glory and eternal praise to him.

 

L.         Sea beasts and everything that lives in water! bless the Lord.

All: Give glory and eternal praise to him.

 

L.         Birds of heaven! bless the Lord.

All: Give glory and eternal praise to him.

 

L.            Animals, wild and tame! bless the Lord.

All: Give glory and eternal praise to him.

Jerusalem Bible

 

Second Reading: Christ is the head of all creation            Col 1:15-20

 

Reader: A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Colossians

 

(Jesus Christ) is the image of the unseen God

and the first‑born of all creation,

for in him were created

all things in heaven and on earth:

everything visible and everything invisible,

Thrones, Dominations, Sovereignties, Powers,

all things were created through him and for him.

 

Before anything was created, he existed,

and he holds all things in unity.

Now the Church is his body,

he is its head.

As he is the Beginning,

he was first to be born from the dead,

so that he should be first in every way;

because God wanted all perfection

to be found in him

and all things to be reconciled through him and for him

everything in heaven and everything on earth

when he made peace

by his death on the cross.

Jerusalem Bible

Reader:            This is the Word of the Lord.

All:                  Thanks be to God.

 

Alleluia:            Dan 3:76

 

All: Alleluia, Alleluia. Everything that grows on earth, all plants of the earth, O bless the Lord. To God be highest glory and praise for ever. Alleluia.

 

Gospel: The gentle inherit the earth            Matt 5:1-10

 

Reader: A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew            

All:      Glory to you, Lord.

 

Reader: Seeing the crowds, (Jesus) went up the hill. There he sat down and was joined by

his disciples. Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them:

 

How happy are the poor in spirit;

            theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Happy the gentle:

            they shall have the earth for their heritage.

 

Happy those who mourn:

            they shall be comforted.                     .

Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right:

            they shall be satisfied.

 

Happy the merciful:

            they shall have mercy shown them.

Happy the pure in heart:

            they shall see God.

 

Happy the peacemakers:

            they shall be called sons of God.

Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right:

            theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Jerusalem Bible

Reader:            This is the Gospel of the Lord.

All:                  Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Scripture Sharing:

 

If a priest will be present, he could be invited beforehand to give a homily. Or all the participants could be invited to share their response to the scriptural readings.

 

Intercessions:

 

Leader: Let us stand before our almighty, good Lord, our Creator and Provider, and ask to be enlightened, guided and strengthened, in our efforts to care for the earth and all creatures.

 

Readers:

1. Lord, you made Creation your first Revelation and completed it through your Son, Jesus Christ. Give us the courage to change our inappropriate use of creatures, and lead us to discern your will in caring for the earth. Lord, hear us.             All:  Lord, graciously hear us.

 

2. Lord, you are our generous Creator and you provide for our existence every day. Guide us to use the gifts of the earth justly and wisely. Lord, hear us.             All:  Lord, graciously hear us.

 

3. Creator of the earth and of  all peoples, show us how all living beings are connected, and enable us to promote life in every form, species and habitat. Lord, hear us.

All:  Lord, graciously hear us.

 

4. Lord, you are near to us in every age. May we respond with understanding and action to the environmental issues that challenge us now, and affect future generations. Lord, hear us.

            All:  Lord, graciously hear us.

 

5. God of kindness and mercy, we thank you for the Churchís teaching on care for the earth and we ask you to empower us to respond enthusiastically as church members. Lord, hear us.

            All:  Lord, graciously hear us.

(Allow ample time for the participants to add intercessions.)

 

Leader: All-powerful and ever-living God, all things are of your making, all times and seasons obey your laws. We thank you for creating us in your own image and making us the stewards of creation.  We praise you for the marvels of your wisdom and power, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

The Lordís Prayer

 

Leader: As sons and daughters of one God, Father and Mother,

we are called to love one another and all creatures.

Let us pray with confidence to our Creator.

All: Our Father ...

 

Conclusion:

 

Leader: Let us go now, and care for the earth

            and for the people around us,

            and enjoy their company

            with the blessing of almighty God,

            the Father, and the Son,

and the Holy Spirit.                               All: Amen.

 

Leader: Let us go in the peace of Jesus, the Lord.

All: Thanks be to God.

 

Hymn: All sing:

 

All creatures of our God and King, lift up your voices, let us sing: Alleluia! Alleluia!

Bright burning sun with golden beams, pale silver moon that gently gleams,

God, we praise you. God, we praise you. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

 

Great rushing winds and breezes soft, you clouds that ride the heav'ns aloft,

Sing your praises! Alleluia!

Fair rising morn, with praise rejoice, stars nightly shining, find a voice,

God, we praise you. God, we praise you. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

 

Surf, waves and water, pure and clear, make music for your Lord to hear,

Alleluia! Alleluia!

Fire, so intense and fiercely bright, you give to us, both warmth and light,

God, we praise you. God, we praise you. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

 

Dear mother earth who day by day, unfold your blessings on our way,

Sing your praises! Alleluia!

All flowers and fruits that in you grow, let them God's glory also show:

God, we praise you. God, we praise you. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

 

All you with mercy in your heart, forgiving others, take your part, O sing now: Alleluia!

All you that pain and sorrow bear, sing praise and cast on God your care:

God, we praise you. God, we praise you. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

 

And you, most kind and gentle death, waiting to hush our final breath, Alleluia! Alleluia!

You lead to heav'n the child of God, where Christ our Lord the way has trod.

O praise God! O Praise God! Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

 

Let all things their Creator bless, and worship God in humbleness, Alleluia! Alleluia!

O praise the Father, praise the Son and praise the Spirit, Three in One!

O praise God! O Praise God! Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!