During the Season of Creation between 1 September (the first day of Spring) and 4 October (St Francis of Assisi’s Feast Day), thousands of Christians on six continents will get together for a time of restoration and hope to pray for and implement changes to safeguard our common home.
The Season of Creation is connected with rogation days in the Church’s Calendar. ‘Rogation’ stems from the Latin rogare meaning ‘to ask’, with rogation days marked as days of prayer when farming communities asked God for a bountiful harvest. Rogation days emerged in the fifth century, with the Christianising of pagan rituals which sought to protect crops from disease. In time, these days came to be observed on the three days before the Ascension of our Lord.
Welsh-born priest and poet George Herbert (1593-1633) articulated the purposes of rogation days and related practices, these being: seeking God’s blessing of the land; using land justly; living with neighbours charitably; and, distributing bounty mercifully to people living on the margins.
In Australia, Rogation Day prayers are encouraged around the feast of St Francis of Assisi on 4 October, rather than at Ascensiontide, to reflect better the cycle of nature in the southern hemisphere (see A Prayer Book for Australia, p.451).
Why should there be a month-long Season of Creation in addition to rogation days?
Our response to God the Creator needs to be generous. We acknowledge this in our sacred songs and prayers. We are embraced by the same God who continues God’s creative work across aeons, and so our spiritual and physical wellbeing is connected to the wider created order:
“Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God” (Psalm 90.1-2).
Our existence and hope stem from God’s creative power:
“By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all their host by the breath of his mouth” (Psalm 33.6).
We can look to God’s good creation to see God at work, and the hope of help and redemption offered to us:
“I lift up my eyes to the hills—from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121.1-2).
Creation responds to God thus:
“The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork” (Psalm 19.1).
As part of creation, human beings are called to respond.
God is wholly involved in creation, of which we are part through the same creative acts of God.
For Christians, a focus on ‘creation’, rather than the ‘environment’ or ‘ecology’, underscores the interconnectedness of all life, affirming the deep connection we have with the broader created order and encouraging a genuine love and concern for all that God has created.
Switching lights off for an hour is a good start at raising awareness of, and upholding hope for, creating a healthy legacy for future generations. But, more is needed.
You can help transform hope into action by participating in Season of Creation events, including the following:
- A Quiet Morning for the Season of Creation at Holy Trinity Church, Fortitude Valley, 9.30 am to 1 pm on 28 August 2021.
- Launch of Season of Creation by the Queensland Churches Environmental Network, 7 pm to 8.30 pm on 1 September 2021, at St Stephen’s Catholic Cathedral, Brisbane.
- The Queensland Churches Environmental Network photo, art, music, poetry and short story exhibition at St John’s Cathedral.
- An ‘On Earth’ festival exploring faith, the arts and justice, 12 noon to 9 pm on 16 October 2021, hosted by the Justice Unit, in partnership with St Francis’ College, Milton.
Striving to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustaining and renewing the life of the earth, invite prayer and action.
“O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth” (Psalm 96.1).
May the Lord hear our song of praise this Season of Creation, and strengthen us to care for God’s good creation.
Editors’ note: Please keep an eye on the anglican focus Events page for more Season of Creation events in our Diocese. For Season of Creation resources, please visit the Season of Creation website.Jump to next article