Prayers

2009 Earth Day Reflection

Reader 1

We gather in the heart of spring, to mark the annual celebration of Earth Day. We see and hear on-going media coverage about the urgent needs of our planet. As citizens, we are called to respond to pollution, climate change and environment devastation. What we might fully realize is that our faith makes claims upon us in this area as well. Care for creation is not an optional response to the Christian message, but a required one. Let us listen to the words of Pope, Benedict XVI.

Reader 2

"Prudence does not mean failing to accept responsibilities and postponing decisions; it means being committed to making joint decisions after pondering responsibly the road to be taken, decisions aimed at strengthening that covenant between human beings and the environment, which should mirror the creative love of God, from whom we come and towards whom we are journeying."

— Pope Benedict XVI, World Day of Peace Message, December 2007

Reader 3

With open hearts and minds, let us pray that God will show us a way forward in our current crisis, restoring a right relationship between us and the planet we call home. In response to each petition, please respond, "Creator God, hear our prayer."

Reader 1

For an increased gratitude for the beauty of this earth, and a greater treasuring of its abundance. We pray...

All       Creator God, hear our prayer.

Reader 2

For greater awareness of our impact on the planet, and a deeper commitment to living in harmony with all God's creation. We pray…

All       Creator God, hear our prayer.

Reader 3

For the blessing of new ideas and discoveries in the fields of science and industry that will help us to use Earth's resources more effectively and judiciously. We pray…

All       Creator God, hear our prayer.

Reader 1

For the field of health care, That we who are among the industries with greatest environmental impact, might also be true leaders and models in environmental renewal. We pray…

All       Creator God, hear our prayer.

Reader 2

You, O Creator, are the source of all that exists. Out of love, you birthed our planet and all the creatures that depend upon it for nourishment, and indeed survival. In your mercy, hear the prayers that we have lifted up before you, and turn your ear as we pledge together to collaborate with you in the protection and healing of your beloved Earth.

All

"We have come to renew our covenant with God and with one another in Christ Jesus, our Lord. We have come to help protect God's creation.

"We have come as followers of Jesus to commit ourselves anew to one another and to heal injustice and poverty. We have come to stand together against all threats to life.

"We have come to discover some new beauty every day in God's creation: the sunrise and sunset, birds, flowers and trees, rainbows in the sky, the stars, the many forms of life in the forest.

"We have come to listen to the 'music of the universe' – water flowing over rocks, the wind, trees bending in the wind, raindrops pattering the roof.

"We will remember always that God speaks to us through the beauty of his creation, and we will try our best to answer God's call to reverence all that he has created."

- Pledge of Commitment, USCCB Prayer Resource for Earth Day