The Time or Season of Creation, running yearly between September 1 and October 4, is the time of the year where 2.2 billion Christians are invited to pray and care for creation.
World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation
September 1st was proclaimed as a day of prayer for the environment by the late Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I in 1989. The Orthodox church year starts that day with a commemoration of how God created the world. On 4 October, Roman Catholics and other churches from the Western traditions commemorate Francis of Assisi, known to many as the author of the Canticle of the Creatures and as the Patron of the Environment.
A frist ecumenical consens (Initiative by Lukas Vischer) to celebrate a ecumenical Day for Creation was made at the Eichstaett Consultation "Sustainable Europe" 1996 and proposed by the Second European Ecumenical Assembly in Graz 1997 (Recommandations for Action 5.1). At the consultation In Eichstätt an ecumenical service led by Bishop Mixa (Eichstätt, Germany) and Bishop Björn Bue (Stavanger, Norway & WCC) was celebrated as Day of Creation on the feast of St. Francis 4 October 1996. Since 1998 the European Christian Environmental Network has urged churches to adopt a Time for Creation, stretching from from 1 September to the feast of St Francis on 4 October.
2001 CCEE and CEC recommend the introduction of an Ecumenical Day of Prayer for the Preservation of Creation in European churches in the CHARTA OECUMENICA.
Between 1997 and 2007 many churches celebrate the Day of Creation. Because it was difficult for catholics to celebrate 1 st September officially as the day of creation, the day was connected and celebrated in the Catholic Church with the Day of Thanksgiving or the Feast of St. Francis on 4 October (Constitution of the Academy 2.8). This was the organic idee for a consensus on the Time of Creation from 1 st September to 4 October.
2007 the Time of Creation was official launched by the Third European Ecumenical Assembly. The following year, the WCC Central Committee invited churches to observe Time for Creation through prayers and actions.
In 2015, Pope Francis has designated September 1st as a World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation for the worldwide Roman Catholic Church as well.
A common statement of Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE), Conference of European Churches (CEC) and European Christian Environmental Network (ECEN) was pubslished in August 2016.
2019 Pope Francis officially invited the faithful to participate in this annual “season of increased prayer and effort on behalf of our common home.” Pope Francis said, "this is the season for letting our prayer be inspired anew,” a season “to reflect on our lifestyles,” and a season “for undertaking prophetic actions . . . calling for courageous decisions . . .directing the planet towards life, not death."
2020 the seaon of creation is the ecumenical initiative jointly supported by all churches in the world.
Link: Season of Creation
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