Earth Day Liturgy From the National Council of Churches
(Reprinted with permission from the National Council of Churches)
The church is called to participate in God's transformation of creation. Congregations and individuals have found ways they can address the challenges of climate change including: turning off lights and appliances to reduce their use of electricity and energy, choosing public transportation instead of single occupancy vehicles, and sharing their concerns about the environment with their neighbors, leaders of industries and their legislators.
But first of all, Christians are praying--praying for wisdom and strength to help restore and protect the wonderful gift of creation.
Call to Worship (from Psalm 19):
Leader: The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims God's handiwork.
Response: Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge.
Leader: There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard.
Response: Yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.
Litany for Creation:
Leader: Praise to you, O God, source of all waters. For vast oceans, flowing rivers, and gentle rains we give you thanks.
Response: Forgive our careless waste and polluting ways.
Leader: Help us to cleanse, conserve, and share; teach us to care for the gift of water.
Response: Come and heal your people. Come and heal the waters.
Leader: Praise to yoiu, O God, creator of the dry land. For mighty mountains, rolling hills, and fertile prairies we give you thanks.
Response: Forgive our wanton greed and violent ways.
Leader: Help us to sow, till, and harvest with care; teach us to live gently on the land.
Response: Come and heal your people. Come and heal the land.
Leader: Praise to you, O God, breath of life and maker of air. For wind and wave, breath and breeze, light and life we give you thanks.
Response: Forgive our heedless acts and selfish ways.
Leader: Help us to live justly, simply, and wisely; teach us to care for the gift of air.
Response: Come and heal your people. Come and heal the air.
Leader: Praise to you, O God, Lord and Giver of Life. Your love sustains planet earth and by your hand all things living are fed.
Response: Forgive our neglect and abuse of your gifts.
Leader: Help us to serve, defend, defend and restore your creation.
People: Help us care for your people. Help us care for the earth.
Prayer of Confession Creator of the earth and all living things, maker of the sky and the air and the breath of life, God of all that is: we are your servant people, created out of the clay of the earth itself. We forget that we are your creatures and we play at being gods. We neglect the work of stewardship that you have provided for our occupation and our joy. We have used, abused, and abandoned those things that you have created for your delight.
You have created a fragile world in a perfect and delicate balance. Thinking too much of our own importance we have upset the balance.
We ask your forgiveness, Holy and Righteous God. We yearn to join with the mountains and valleys, the rocks and the birds of the wild ocean waters in singing your praises. Amen
Declaration of Hope
"Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls." (Jeremiah 6:16)
Response: We are standing at a crossroads. Together let us seek the good way and find rest for all of God's creation.