Litany for Earth Day

Earth Day is April 22.


God, on this day we celebrate the gift of this planet, Earth,
Which you created for us as a home:
     A home for humanity
     A home for creatures
     A home for plants
     A good gift of creation.

We are truly sorry for the ways we have corrupted it.
Forgive us.
We are truly sorry for the ways we have disregarded its well-being.
Forgive us.
We are truly sorry for the ways we’ve been complicit in systems that degrade it.
Forgive us.

Help us, Oh God,
To be good stewards of your gifts to us.
Help us, Oh God,
To realize our connectedness to creation.
Help us, Oh God,
To understand our reliance upon the Earth.
Help us, Oh God,
To bring healing to the planet.
Help us, Oh God,
To make changes that benefit all creatures.

As all creation praises and glorifies you,
So we praise you.
As all creation reflects your character and beauty,
So we seek to reflect your beauty.
As all creation supports and sustains us,
So we seek to support one another.

For the gracious gift and vast beauty of creation,
We give thanks.
Amen

*Spanish Translation* Letanía para la Tierra

Rick Behrens of Grandview Park Presbyterian Church in Kansas City contacted me wanting to translate some litanies for use in their bilingual services. A member of his team translated my "Litany for the Earth" into Spanish. They kindly shared their lovely translation.

Translated by Carmen Flores.

Dios, lamentamos la destrucción que se ha hecho
Que hemos permitido que se haga
Por nuestro silencio e inacción
Y por nuestra acción directa
Para la Tierra - Tu creación.
Perdónanos, oh Dios.

Incluso ahora nos damos cuenta de que nuestro hogar
Esta sufriendo
Sus habitantes están sufriendo
Por falta de agua limpia y aire
Falta de alimento vital
La falta de hábitat seguro.

Ayúdenos a tomar conciencia
De las necesidades de la humanidad,
De las necesidades de las generaciones venideras,
De las necesidades del suelo y las criaturas.

Reconocemos que tenemos una oportunidad:
Para elegir la paz sobre el beneficio
Para elegir la actividad sobre la complacencia
Para elegir un Bien Mayor sobre la conveniencia de hoy.

Despierta en nosotros una nueva compasión
Una nueva voluntad de cambiar,
Una nueva emoción para fomentar la comunidad,
Una nueva fe en la abundancia de tu Reino.
Un nuevo celo por establecer la Paz y la Justicia de Dios,
Un nuevo deseo de establecer la Tierra en derechos
Una nueva comprensión de la conectividad de todas las cosas,
Una nueva apreciación del don de la Tierra.

Amen

Litany for the Earth

Here is the text of the first half of Psalm 24 (NLT).

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.
The world and all its people belong to him.
For he laid the earth’s foundation on the seas
and built it on the ocean depths.

Who may climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who may stand in his holy place?
Only those whose hands and hearts are pure,
who do not worship idols
and never tell lies.

They will receive the Lord’s blessing
and have a right relationship with God their savior.
Such people may seek you
and worship in your presence, O God of Jacob.
                 - Psalm 24:1-6


God, we lament the destruction that has been done
That we have permitted to be done
By our silence and inaction
And by our direct action
To the Earth - Your creation. *
Forgive us, Oh God.

Even now we realize that our home
Is suffering
Its inhabitants are suffering
From lack of clean water and air
     Lack of life-giving nourishment
     Lack of safe habitat.

Help us to become aware
     Of the needs of humanity,
     Of the needs of generations to come,
     Of the needs of soil and creatures.
We acknowledge that we have a chance:
     To choose peace over profit
     To choose activity over complacency
     To choose a Greater Good over today’s convenience.

Arouse in us a new compassion,
A new willingness to change,
A new excitement to foster community,
A new faith in the abundance of your Kingdom.
A new zeal for establishing the Peace and Justice of God,
A new desire to set the Earth to rights
A new understanding of the connectedness of all things,
A new appreciation of the gift of Earth.

Amen

*Recommended reading for people of faith on the topic of Creation Care is Tri Robinson's _Saving God's Green Earth_.