School Sisters of Notre Dame
Atlantic-Midwest and Central Pacific Provinces

Prayer for the 2020 Anniversaries of Earth Day and Laudato Si

Earth DayCall to Prayer:                                                                                                                                      Print this Prayer
This year, 2020, we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day and the 5th Anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si.  Both anniversaries call us to focus our attention and care on our common home, Earth, and to make meaningful and sustainable responses to her suffering. The theme for Earth Day 2020 is Climate Action.  The Climate crisis, which we now face, is characterized by a dramatic rise in global temperatures, rising and warming seas, droughts, famines, and the forced migration of many people who already live on the margins of society. 

In Laudato Si, Pope Francis writes, “This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life. This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she “groans in travail” (Rom 8:22). We have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the earth (cf. Gen 2:7); our very bodies are made up of her elements, we breathe her air and we receive life and refreshment from her waters.”

The anniversaries of Earth Day and Laudato Si summon us to gather, reflect, and recommit ourselves to the Care of Earth, our Common Home.  How will our individual and collective choices and actions communicate our recognition of God, whose Ancient Love gave birth to the Universe and to Earth, our beloved home?

Resources

Catholic Climate Covenant website - Earth Day at 50/Laudato Si’ at 5: An Urgent Appeal for Action 

Earth Day dot Org website  - 24 Hours of Action

Opening Song and Reflection

This Ancient Love click here for YouTube video and Music copyright permission given by Carolyn McDade

Long before the night was born from darkness 
Long before the dawn rolled unsteady from fire 
Long before She wrapped her scarlet arm around the hills 
There was a love, this ancient love was born. 

rainbowLong before the grass spotted green the bare hillside 
Long before a wing unfolded to wind 
Long before She wrapped her long blue arm around the sea 
There was a love, this ancient love was born.

Long before a chain was forged from the hillside 
Long before a voice uttered freedom’s cry 
Long before She wrapped her bleeding arms around a child
There was a love, this ancient love was born. 
 
Long before the name of God was spoken 
Long before a cross was nailed from a tree                 
Long before She laid her arm of colors ‘cross the sky 
There was a love, this ancient love was born. 
 
Wakeful is our night, Slumbers our morning 
Stubborn is the grass sowing green wounded hills 
As we wrap our healing arms to hold what her arms held 
This ancient love, this aching love rolls on. 

Readings: (Read aloud by different voices with pauses in between)

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” —Jane Goodall

“The earth is what we all have in common.” – Wendell Berry

“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together … all things connect.” —Chief Seattle

“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.” —Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Apprehend God in all things, for God is in all things.  Every single creature is full of God and is a book about God.”—Meister Eckhart

Reflection

Sharing:  Which of these quotes are especially meaningful to you?  Is there another quote that you would like to share?

Response

Blessed: A Litany by Carolyn McDade and Mary Casey

Blessed be the Universe 
All:  Long unbroken story— spirit in all things 
Blessed be the Earth 
All:  Dance born of burning— turning day to night, to dawn around an ancient sun 
Blessed be the sea and sky 
All: Stars and rain that wash each soul in reverence, and guide us home 
Blessed be all who buzz and hiss, talk, croak, and warble
All:  Those who push roots and shout green. Blessed all who pass breath between them 
Blessed be all that struggle for their right to be
All:  That within each that will not lie down— that sings the song its heart must sing 
Blessed the elders who call us deep 
All: Blessed the young who deepen. Blessed the generations who love this world, faithful to its wonder 
Blessed all who choose to live whole and free 
All:  Grateful among the Blessed 

Closing Song/Reflection: Same as opening song and video

“Women Singing Earth,” © M.Southard C.S.J www.marysouthardart.org used with permission.
“Women Singing Earth,” © M.Southard C.S.J www.marysouthardart.org used with permission.

 

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