A Green Liturgy
This service was held at St Mary’s Twyford on Sunday 16 July 2023. You are welcome to use it, or parts of it, in your own church.
A Liturgy for the wholeness of God’s creation and our part in it
For what we are about to receive
The water we drink
The air we breathe
The fire of sun
The food of earth
May we be thankful
May we be aware
How every day is a gift
And every breath a prayer. (Martin Wroe)
Welcome and introduction
Send forth your Spirit, O Lord and renew the face of the earth
Creator God, giver of life, you sustain the earth and direct the nations. In this time of climate crisis grant us clarity to hear the groaning of creation and the cries of the poor; challenge us to change our lifestyles; guide our leaders to take courageous action; enable your church to be a beacon of hope; and foster within us a renewed vision of your purposes for your world; through Jesus Christ our Lord, by and for whom all things were made. Amen
We sing hymn 566 Put peace into each other’s hands…
Kyrie: Call to Prayer (from African Sanctus by David Fanshawe)
Most great God, maker of heaven and earth,
We acknowledge our failure to live responsibly as part of your creation.
We have taken what we want, without considering the consequences;
we have wasted and discarded, without thought for the future.
Open our hearts and minds to the signs of our times, to the groaning of creation,
so that we may turn from our greed and lack of vision and see a world being made anew
in Jesus Christ our Lord
Hearing and reflecting on God’s word
A reading from the Hebrew scriptures – Psalm 148
We sing hymn 539 Let all creation dance…
A reading from the Gospel of Matthew – 6: 24-34
Silence, as we think about what we’ve heard…
Another world is not only possible, she is on her way
On a quiet day I can hear her breathing
We have been shown what is good,
May we act justly, love mercy and walk humbly
That justice is how love looks in public
That hope is a song in a weary voice
That stumbling is not falling
That together we can be the change we long to see
That peace is the apology of the strong to the weak
That faith is being sure of what we hope for
That we all come from the creator,
Trailing wisps of glory
That if we have eyes to see
That if we have ears to hear
That when we least expect it
Hope bursts into life
Stable walls echoing to a baby’s first cry.
The response to Lord, hear us is Lord, graciously hear us
And we finish – Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son our Saviour, Jesus Christ, Amen.
The Talmud says that every blade of grass has its own angel bending over it, whispering, “Grow, Grow.”
Treat the earth well. It was not given to us by our parents,
it was loaned to us by our children.
So walk softly upon the earth
May its beauty surround you, its wisdom delight you, its music invite you.
Rejoice in creation
Listen to the pain of the voiceless
Water the barren earth
Plant seeds in the wasteland
And act as if our hope in the future is irresistible.
We listen to Margaret Rizza’s Send forth your Spirit – a version of Psalm 104 praying that God’s Spirit may enable our part in God’s creation
As the whole of creation looks with eager longing for the redemption of humankind, let us pledge ourselves anew to serve our Creator God, the Father who is the maker of all things, the Son through whom all things are made, and the Holy Spirit, the giver of life, who renews the face of the earth.
Let us stand to affirm our commitment to care actively for God’s creation:
Lord of life and giver of hope, we pledge ourselves to care for creation, to reduce our waste, to live sustainably, and to value the rich diversity of life.
May your wisdom guide us, that life in all its forms may flourish, and may be faithful in voicing creation’s praise.
May the commitment we have made this day be matched by our faithful living, and may we pass on to those who come after the rich heritage of which we are your grateful beneficiaries and stewards. Amen.
We sing hymn 284 (tune 16) For the fruits of all creation, thanks be to God
Go in strong and growing faith.
Trust in the healing of Christ for our bruised and broken world.
Thanks be to God.
Go in eager and refreshing hope. Work with Christ risen from the dead,
to fulfil the promise of a new creation.
Thanks be to God.
Go in costly and courageous love.
Proclaim the power of Christ to cleanse our defiled and disfigured world.
Thanks be to God.
So in faith, hope and love, go in peace, to treasure and tend the world God makes and loves.
In the name of Christ, Amen.
There will be a retiring collection for [Green Christian]
Material included from:
- The Amos Trust
- The Anglican Church of Aotearoa/New Zealand PVL/EI7
Comments on "A Green Liturgy"
The St Mary's Twyford liturgy is beautiful. It speaks strongly to us taking responsibility as individuals prayerfully and lovingly. But we have reached the point where individual action is simply not going to be enough. It might get us 30% of the way to carbon zero, and we must not give up on it, but the vast majority of change will come from governments and changing the regulations under which multi-national corporations behave. Can there be a liturgy for that?