This prayerful meditation combines modern scientific theories with heartfelt praise of God, the Creator of the universe and the Father of Jesus Christ. We recognize Jesus as the eternal and incarnate Word of God, who was with God even before God created anything. During Advent, we remember that long time, from the beginning of creation until the birth of Jesus, when all creation waited for his coming.


The Creation Walk gives the participant a sense of the awesomeness of the dimensions of time and space that science tries to measure. If a spiral of rope, representing fifteen billion years, is two and a quarter kilometres long, the past two thousand years is represented by only three millimetres at the end of the rope.


The Creation Walk conveys a sense of sequence and purpose in the development of the universe, described first in popular scientific terms, then celebrated in praise of the Creator. It locates Jesus Christ, the Word of God, at the beginning of creation and in the centre of the universe, and it places each of us there with him.


The spectators stand at the end of the walk, in the Present Moment. They are provided with a taper before the ritual begins. A lone walker, representing the creative Word of God and each one of us in Christ, is the first to make the Creation Walk. He or she lights up the Paschal Candle at the Beginning, then the small candles at each stage along the walk. The narrator (N) stands near the spectators and reads a current scientific explanation. The prayer leader (PL) praises the Creator. All join in the hymns.


All sing:

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation;

O my soul, praise him for he is your health and salvation.

All you who hear, now to his altar draw near,

Joining in glad adoration.


Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore him!

All that has life and breath come now in praises before him!

Let the Amen sound from his people again:

Now as we worship before him.

J. Neander (1650-1680) 

N: The beginning:


PL: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made (Jn 1:1-3).


All things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together (Col 1:16-17).


Before the world was made, he chose us, chose us in Christ, to live through love in his presence (Eph 1:4).


N: 15 billion years ago:

The universe came into being. It contained all the light, energy and potential for everything that would ever come to be, all contained within the miracle of hydrogen.


PL: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep: and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light” (Gen 1:1-3).


By the word of the Lord his works come into being and all creation obeys his will (Sirach 42:15).


He sends the light - and it goes, he recalls it - and trembling it obeys... It is he who is our God. (Bar 3:33,36)


I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life (Jn 8:12).


All sing:

Let all things their Creator bless,

And worship him in humbleness.

Oh, praise him! Alleluia!

Oh, praise the Father, praise the Son,

And praise the Spirit, Three in One.

Oh, praise him! Oh, praise him!

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Henry Draper (1855-1933)

N: One billion years later:

This expanding energy began to slow down, cool, differentiate, and all the primal stars and galaxies took shape. Stars are made of hydrogen and helium and consume themselves to create the other heavier elements.


PL: God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament and separated the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament (Gen 1:6-8).


By his word the heavens were made, by the breath of his mouth all the stars (Ps 33:6).


He who made the Pleiades and Orion, the Lord is his name (Amos 5:8).


The stars shine joyfully at their set times: when he calls them, they answer, “Here we are”; they gladly shine for their creator (Baruch 3:34).


All sing:

O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder

Consider all the works thy hands have made,

I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder,

Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Refrain: twice

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to thee,

How great thou art, how great thou art!

Ó 1963 Stuart K. Hine. Administered by Thankyou Music

N: 4.6 billion years ago:

Our mother star in the Milky Way, having consumed itself, collapsed. In the intense energy of that collapse it was transformed into a supernova - exploding its stardust into space and seeding all the new elements which would take shape as the whole body of chemistry.


PL: Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Who determined its measurements? (Job 38:4).


The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork (Ps 19:1).


The glory of the stars makes the beauty of the sky, a brilliant decoration to the heights of the Lord. At the words of the Holy One they stand as he decrees (Sir 43:9-10)


The heavens are yours, the world is yours. It is you who founded the earth and all it holds (Ps 89:11).


N: 4.5 billion years ago:

That exploding stardust began to slow down, cool and condense into a community of planets around the remnant of the mother star, our sun. Our solar system was born.


PL: God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to separate the day from the night.” God made the two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; he made the stars also (Gen 1:14-16).


It was he who made the great lights, the sun to rule in the day, the moon and stars in the night (Ps 136:7-9).


The sun, as he emerges, proclaims at his rising, “A thing of wonder is the work of the Most High!”... Great is the Lord who made him (Sirach 43:2,5).


Light and darkness, sun and moon, stars of heaven! bless the Lord. Praise and exalt him above all forever (Dan 3:62,63,72).


All sing:

All creatures of our God and King

Lift up your voice with us and sing

Alleluia! Alleluia!

O burning sun with golden beam

And silver moon with softer gleam:

Oh, praise him! Oh, praise him!

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Henry Draper (1855-1933)

N: 4.1 billion years ago:

The earth, a privileged planet, cooled and gradually formed an atmosphere, oceans and landmass.


PL: God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas (Gen 1:9-10).


Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? (Is 40:12).


All sing:

O flowing waters, pure and clear,

Make music for your Lord to hear.

Oh, praise him! Alleluia!

O fire so masterful and bright,

Providing us with warmth and light,

Oh, praise him. Oh, praise him!

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Henry Draper (1855-1933)


N: 4 billion years ago:

Gradually within the seas more complex materials began to form, then amino acids and finally proteins. The first simple cells formed and in them the earth awakened into life.


PL: Let the heavens and the earth give him praise, the sea and all its living creatures (Ps 69:34).


All things the Lord has made, and everything that lives in water! bless the Lord: give glory and eternal praise to him (Dan 3:57). From the heavens, the earth and the sea, to you glory and praise for evermore (Dan 3:57).


N: 3.9 billion years ago:

The earth learned to take nourishment from the sun. Through single cell microbes, it learned to eat sunlight, to nurse from the sun. Photosynthesis was invented and laid the pattern for all future life forms: that each must receive nourishment from another and give itself in return to become nourishment.


All sing:

Dear mother earth, who day by day,

Unfolds rich blessings on our way,

Oh, praise him! Alleluia!

The fruits and flowers that verdant grow,

Let them his praise abundant show.

Oh, praise him! Oh, praise him!

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Henry Draper (1855-1933)


N: 2 billion years ago:

The earth’s earlier carbon membrane was absorbed, slowly releasing oxygen and forming a new oxygen atmosphere within which all future life would evolve.


PL: Let everything that lives and that breathes give praise to the Lord (Ps 150:6).


All sing:

O rushing wind and breezes soft,

O clouds that ride the winds aloft:

Oh, praise him! Alleluia!

O rising morn, in praise rejoice,

O lights of evening, find a voice.

Oh, praise him! Oh, praise him!

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Henry Draper (1855-1933)


1 billion years ago:

Life was mysteriously drawn toward union and the first simple-celled organisms began to reproduce sexually. Different strands of genetic memory were combined in their new offspring, opening up infinite new possibilities.


In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his. To him belongs the sea, for he made it, and the dry land shaped by his hands (Ps 95:4-5).


Fire and heat, frost and cold, clouds of the sky, showers and rain, dews and sleet, breezes and winds! bless the Lord. To him be highest glory and praise forever (Dan 3:59-69).


N: 700 million years ago:

The first multi-cellular life forms emerged and creativity expanded rapidly.


PL: God said, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures” (Gen 1:20).


I am the first, I am also the last. My hand laid the foundations of earth and my right hand spread out the heavens... From the beginning I have never spoken to you obscurely, and all the time these things have been happening, I have been present (Is 48:12,16).


N: 510 million years ago:

The first fish forms with backbone emerged, protecting the earth’s earliest nervous system and the development of her sensory organs.


PL: So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves (Gen 1:21).


N: 425 million years ago:

The first life forms left the oceans, having developed a membrane within which they could carry their own water. They became the first land plants.


PL: God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation” (Gen 1:11).


He covers the heavens with clouds; he prepares the rain for the earth, making mountains sprout with grass and with plants (Ps 147:8).


N: 395 million years ago:

The mysterious coming and extinction of the dinosaurs. The first insects emerged, forming an interdependent community with the land plants.


PL: Animals wild and tame! all bless the Lord: give glory and eternal praise to him (Dan 3:81).


N: 210 million years ago:

The continents shifted, cracked and drifted apart. The Atlantic Ocean was formed.


PL: 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 (Sirach 43:23-28).


Some sailed to the sea in ships to trade on the mighty waters. These men have seen the Lord’s deeds, the wonders he does in the deep (Ps 107:23-24).


All sing:

Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend you;

Surely his goodness and mercy shall daily attend you.

Ponder anew what the Almighty can do.

Who with his love doth befriend you.

J. Neander (1650-1680)

N: 150 million years ago:

The first birds took flight and the earth broke into song.


PL: So God created ... every winged bird according to its kind. And God blessed them saying, “Be fruitful and multiply ... and let birds multiply on the earth” (Gen 1:21-22).


Who provides for the raven its prey, when its young ones cry to God, and wander about for lack of food? (Job 38: 41). He provides the beasts with their food and young ravens that call upon him (Ps 147:9).


Birds of heaven! all bless the Lord: give glory and eternal praise to him (Dan 3: 80).


N: 120 million years ago:

The emergence of flowering plants which concentrated their life energy into seed, making protein available for mammals and bringing colour and fragrance to earth.


PL: God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind upon the earth” (Gen 1:11).


Everything that grows on earth, all plants of the earth, O bless the Lord. To him be highest glory and praise forever (Dan 3:76).


N: 114 million years ago:

The first placental mammals emerged, warm-blooded creatures that carry their young within their own bodies and nourish them from their own substance.


PL: God said, Let the earth bring forth living creatures, according to their kinds: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth” (Gen 1:24).


Do you know when the mountain goats bring forth? Do you observe the calving of the hinds? Can you number the months that they fulfil, and do you know the time when they bring forth? (Job 39:1-2).


N: 40 million years ago:

The various orders of mammals are complete.


PL: And God saw that it was good (Gen 1:25).


Let all your creatures serve you, for you spoke and they were made. You sent forth your Spirit, and it formed them (Judith 16:17).


The eyes of all creatures look to you and you give them their food in due time. You open wide your hand, grant the desires of all that live (Ps 144:15).


N: 3.3 million years ago:

Current ice ages of earth began, shaping the mountains, valleys, and rivers, lakes and streams that formed our present bioregions.


PL: Ice and snow, mountains and hills, fountains and springs, rivers and seas! Bless the Lord. Give glory and eternal praise to him (Dan 3:70-78).


All sing:

When through the woods and forest glades I wander

And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;

When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur

And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze;

Refrain: twice.

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to thee,

How great thou art, how great thou art!

Ó 1963 Stuart K. Hine. Administered by Thankyou Music

N: 2.6 million years ago:

The earliest humanoid types develop, being hunters, with brains and nervous systems, complex enough for the earth to awaken into self-conscious awareness.


PL: God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” ... male and female he created them (Gen 1:26-27).


Thou hast given him dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea (Ps 8:5).


N: 60,000 years ago:

Modern Homo sapiens emerged, developing earliest language patterns and occupying Africa and Australia.


PL: By your word you have made all things, and in your wisdom have fitted man to rule the creatures that have come from you, to govern the world in holiness and justice and in honesty of soul to wield authority (Wisdom 9:1-3).


All peoples, clap your hands, cry to God with shouts of joy! For the Lord, the Most High, we must fear, great king over all the earth (Ps 47:1-2).


Praise the Lord, all you nations, acclaim him all you peoples. Strong is his love for us. He is faithful forever (Ps 117).


N: 20,000 years ago:

The flowering of matrilineal societies, which evolved female deities, based on the fertility and abundance of earth.


PL: Put away the foreign gods and the Ashtoreth from among you, and direct your heart to the Lord (1 Sam 7:3).


The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, has blessed us (Ps 67:6).


N: 10,000 years ago:

Humans learned to cultivate plants and domestic animals and settled throughout Asia and the Americas.


PL: Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a tiller of the ground (Gen 4:2).


N: 5,200 years ago:

An age of chronic warfare began, which continues into the present.


Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him (Gen 4:8).


Proclaim this among the nations. “Prepare for war! Hammer your ploughshares into swords, your sickles into spears” (Joel 4:9).


He will wield authority over the nations; these will hammer their swords into ploughshares, their spears into sickles (Is 2:4).


Come, think of Yahweh’s marvels,

the astonishing things he has done in the world;

all over the world he puts an end to wars,

he breaks the bow, he snaps the spear,

he gives shields to the flames.

‘Pause a while and know that I am God,

exalted among the nations, exalted over the earth’ (Psalm 46).


All sing:

O everyone of tender heart,

Forgiving others, take your part,

Oh, praise him! Alleluia!

All you who pain and sorrow bear,

Praise God and lay on him your care.

Oh, praise him! Oh, praise him!

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Henry Draper (1855-1933)


N: 5,000 years ago:

Megalithic stone structures appear in Europe, Asia and the Americas, marking a transition to warring, male images of the divine.


PL: The Lord is a warrior! The Lord is his name (Exod 15:3).


The Lord goes forth like a mighty man, like a man of war he stirs up his fury; he cries out, he shouts aloud, he shows himself mighty against his foes (Is 42:13).


The Lord is with me as a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble (Jer 20:11).


N: 3,200 years ago:

The Exodus of Israel out of Egypt.


PL: I will take you for my people and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob (Ex 6:7-8).


The first-born of the Egyptians he smote, he brought Israel out from their midst, arm outstretched with power in his arm, for his love endures for ever. He divided the Red Sea in two, he made Israel pass through the midst, he flung Pharaoh and his force in the sea, for his love endures forever (Ps 136:10-15).


N: 2,500 years ago:

The flowering of ethical and spiritual consciousness among the Jews, and through the works of Confucius in China, and Buddha in India.


PL: What you do not wish yourself, do not to others (Confucius, Sayings, XV, 24).

Do to no one what you would not want done to you (Tobit 4:16).

Treat others as you would like them to treat you (Jesus, Lk 6:31).


N: 2,000 years ago:

Jesus, the Word of God, brought his message of unity with all people, first throughout Judea, then throughout the world, in every place and time.


PL: And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father (Jn 1:14).


... the Son, whom God appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding the universe by his word of power (Heb 1:2-3).


God has let us know the mystery of his purpose, the hidden plan he so kindly made in Christ from the beginning to act upon when the times had run their course to the end: that he would bring everything together under Christ, as head, everything in the heavens and everything on earth (Eph 1:9-10).


All sing:

And when I think that God, his Son not sparing,

Sent him to die, I scarce can take it in;

That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing

He bled and died to take away my sin;

Refrain: twice

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to thee,

How great thou art, how great thou art!

Ó 1963 Stuart K. Hine. Administered by Thankyou Music

N: 400 years ago:

The people of Europe invaded and colonized other continents, uprooting indigenous people and confiscating their lands and cultures. A period of slave trade and migration was initiated.


PL: The Lord does not reject mankind, since he takes no pleasure in abasing and afflicting the human race (Lamentations 3:33).


The Lord listens to the needy and does not spurn his servants in their chains (Ps 69:33).


He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed (Lk 4:18).


N: 200 years ago:

A period of intense revolutions, social, scientific and industrial, all of which have shaped our present age.


PL: Behold, I make all things new (Rev 21:5).


I shall indeed be with you soon. Amen; come, Lord Jesus (Rev 22:21).


All sing:

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,

And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!

Then I shall bow in humble adoration

And there proclaim, “My God, how great thou art!”

Refrain: twice

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to thee,

How great thou art, how great thou art!

Ó 1963 Stuart K. Hine. Administered by Thankyou Music

N: 75 years ago:

Humans discovered an expanding universe and the interior depths within atomic structures.


PL: Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundations? Who decided the dimensions of it, or who stretched the measuring line across it? (Job 38:4-5).


Your deeds, O Lord, have made me glad; for the work of your hands I shout with joy. O Lord, how great are your works! How deep are your designs! (Ps 92:4-5).


N: 35 years ago (1969):

Humans, on a journey to the moon, turned around and saw the earth as a whole for the first time.


PL: Worthy are you, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created (Rev 4:11).


Yes, you have made heaven and earth, and all the marvels that are under heaven. You are the Lord of all, and there is none who can resist you, Lord (Esther 4:17c).


I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, with me in him, bears fruit in plenty; for cut off from me you can do nothing (John 15:5).


N: Today, we have heard the story of our common origin with the entire earth community in a single universe. Perhaps, it is the beginning of a new awareness.


I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the fountain of the water of life (Rev 21:6).


I am the Way, the Truth and the Life (Jn 14:6).


All that exists comes from him; all is by him and for him. To him be glory forever! Amen (Rom 11:36).


At the end, the walker addresses the spectators, “Today, I have received a deeper insight into my own self”.


All sing:

Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,

Who wondrous things has done, in whom his world rejoices;

Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way

With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.


O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,

With ever joyful hearts and blessed peace to cheer us;

And keep us in his grace, and guide us when perplexed,

And free us from all ills in this world and the next.


All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given,

The Son and Spirit blessed who reign in highest heaven;

Eternal, triune God, whom earth and heaven adore;

For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.

J.Crueger (1598-1662)


The spectators can now become participants. When moved to begin, participants walk to the Beginning, light their candle and walk the entire time-line. They leave a space between them so that there is no hindrance to prayerful meditation.


All are invited to bring their refreshments into the friary and make themselves at home. They may like to share with other participants their response to the experience of the Creation Walk.