Help your students celebrate Earth Day with this prayer service.
Preparation: If possible, choose a place outside of the school building where the sky, clouds, flowers, and nature can be observed and felt through the warmth of the sun, the breeze, and the chirping of birds. After gathering, join hands for a moment of silence, and then begin. (If inside, perhaps an area of church with sunlight and stained-glass windows might be available.)
Begin by singing “The Canticle of the Sun,” or choose some other appropriate song.
All: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Leader: Today we gather to give thanks to God for the gift and majesty of his creation. We cannot look upon the beautiful world and beyond into heavenly space without recognizing the love God has for each of us.
All: We love you, God our Creator, and thank you for our many blessings.
Leader: God, you are always there for us. We need not worry and walk in fear, for you are always there and will never leave us. (Read Matthew 6:25-33)
All: We love you, God our Creator, and we place our trust in you.
Leader: We thank you, God, for all who work to provide food and medicines. We pray that we will all work to protect the soil of the earth and preserve it from poisons, burning, and harm. May the oceans, rivers, and streams used by mankind be treated with respect to maintain life always.
All: We love you, God our Creator, and pledge to care for your gifts that nourish and heal us.
Leader: We thank you, God, for the animals of the earth and oceans. May they thrive rather than become endangered or extinct due to harm inflicted by humans. May we guard their habitats and change our habits to deter global warming.
All: We love you, God our Creator, and strive to preserve every living being.
Leader: And finally, Dear God, we thank you for the gift of each other. We are human and often fail in our dealings with each other, but we pray that you will give us the wisdom to love our neighbors around the world. Help us to tear down walls we have built in our hearts and minds through fear and prejudice. Let our eyes see the person inside rather than the color of skin. Put in our hearts a desire to protect everyone from before birth to old age, for all are precious in your sight.
All: We love you, God our Creator, and seek to appreciate and reach out to our neighbors around the Globe to share your love.
Close by singing “Let There Be Peace On Earth” or some other appropriate song of choice.
Jean Grant teaches at St. Charles Borromeo School, St. Charles, MO.