Since 2008 Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) has compiled a programme of resources to encourage and assist churches to observe Creation Time, which stretches from 1 September to the feast of St Francis on 4 October – and so spans the “harvest season” for many in Britain.
In addition, in 2015 Pope Francis established an annual day of global prayer for creation to be celebrated on 1 September; an event that offers a hand of friendship to the Orthodox Church, which established a similar day of prayer in 1989.
Creation Time resources usually include hymn suggestions for each week of worship. However, we’ve also compiled a quick reference list of suitable hymns for use in Creation Time. See also StF’s harvest hymns listed under Harvest in the Festivals and Seasons search category.
In 2015, Pope Francis wrote:
“The annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation will offer individual believers and communities a fitting opportunity to reaffirm their personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live.”
The Catholic aid agency CAFOD has put together resources that draw on Pope Francis' encyclical, Laudato Si' – including a Prayer for Creation and a Prayer Vigil, as well as a study guide to accompany the encyclical.
There are many books of prayer and liturgy suitable for Creation Time and Harvest festivals. Two staples that have stood the test of time (and both produced in collaboration with Christian Aid) are:
Harvest for the World: a worship anthology on sharing in the work of creation – compiled by Geoffrey Duncan
Bread of Tomorrow: praying with the world’s poor – edited by Janet Morley.
The Royal School of Church Music has produced an excellent resource, Bread of life: a festival service for young voices celebrating God’s physical and spiritual gift of food. As our review suggests, this is a flexible resource that can be adapted for all sorts of music groups and many different occasions.
In addition, Creation Time falls at a simlar time of year to the Jewish Feast of the Tabernacles or the Sukkot. (Read more about Sukkot here). This festival inspired StF+’s reflections on living in a fragile world.