Adapted from Gavin Drake, ACNS

Three pan-European church bodies have endorsed the World Day of Prayer for Creation and the Season of Creation that follows it.

The Roman Catholic Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE), the ecumenical Conference of European Churches (CEC) and the European Christian Environmental Network (ECEN) have issued a statement calling for “common prayers and to strengthen ecumenical work to care for creation.”

“According to the Gospel, responsibility for the environment can never be detached from responsibility for other human beings: for our neighbour, for the poor, or the forgotten, all in a true spirit of solidarity and love,” the churches say. “Respecting creation means not only protecting and safeguarding the earth, water, and other parts of the natural world. It is at the same time expressing respect for human beings who share those gifts and bear responsibility for them. Therefore, together with all Christians, we endeavour joyfully to witness Jesus Christ, ‘for in Him were created all things in heaven and on earth.’”

The statement was signed by the Rev. Heikki Huttunen, general secretary of CEC; Msgr. Duarte da Cunha, general secretary of CCEE; and the Rev. Peter Pavlovic, secretary of ECEN. They say the Time for Creation, from Sept. 1 to the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi on Oct. 4, has become part of the liturgical calendars in a growing number of churches.

The three groups have published a prayer which they ask Christians to join in praying:

O Lord, teach us to care for the whole Creation,
to protect all life and to share the fruits of the earth.
Teach us to share our human work with our brothers and sisters,
especially with the poor and those in need.

Grant us to remain faithful to your Gospel
as to joyfully offer to our society in different countries across the continent
the horizon of a better future

filled with justice, peace, love and beauty. Amen.

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