Catholic Spirituality – Liturgies

Gloucester CathedralThese are liturgies used at services of The Three Counties Ecumenical Prayer Group for Animals, which meets every first Saturday of the month at 12.15 in Gloucester Cathedral. They were composed by Revd Helen Hall and can be used and adapted for any group or individual.

Liturgy A

Presider:

How wonderful are the works of your hands.

The heavens declare your glory, O Lord;

The arch of sky displays your handiwork.

We give thanks, O Lord our God,

For all your wonderful creation.

All: We praise you, we thank you, we glorify you, Lord God, creator and sustainer of all.

Presider: For the gentle eyes of the deer, the friendship of dogs, the purr of cats, the strength of bears, the beauty of a hippo, the humour of chimps, the intelligence of gorillas, the grace of dolphins, and the magnificence of whales.

All: We are thankful, O God.

Presider: For the bond between all living creatures created by the same author, and for the memory of our kinship with the animal world kindled each time a rainbow appears.

All: We are thankful, O God.

Presider: Keep us mindful of the vision of the peaceable kingdom in which all living creatures dwell in harmony.

All: This we pray, O God.

Reading

Yes, God is good – in earth and sky, From ocean depths and spreading wood, Ten thousand voices seem to cry: God made us all and God is good. The merry birds prolong the strain, Their song with every spring renewed; And balmy air, and falling rain, Each softly whispers: God is good.

(by John Hampden Gurney)

[More readings e.g. from J.H. Newman, Scripture, etc.]

Silent Reflection  

Open prayers of intercession, thanksgiving, etc.  

All: Hear our prayers, O God, and those of all the people whose hearts are torn with pity and horror for animals that suffer because of people and their actions.

Presider: God our father, have mercy on us and on all your creation

All: Hear our prayer

Presider: From indifference to the suffering of animals throughout the world.

All: Lord save us

Presider: From acts of thoughtless cruelty

All: Lord save us

Presider: From lack of courage in speaking out against cruelty and wrong doing.

All: Lord save us

Presider: From turning a blind eye to factory farming, animal experiments and the discarding of unwanted pets

All: Lord save us

Presider: Lord save our world from these and all the cruelties which people thoughtlessly as well as deliberately inflict on each other and on those creatures in their power.

All: Amen

Presider: Living God, we commend into your care the members and officers of all societies and organisations devoted to helping, rescuing and caring for animals, as well as all those who try to raise awareness of animal suffering in all aspects of life. Bless all who work for the common cause of protecting those of your creatures which have no voice but cries of pain, no words but those spoken on their behalf. Through Christ our Lord

All: Amen

Presider: May Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, bless us and all your creatures, this day and always.

All: Amen.

Liturgy B

Presider: Creator God, well-spring of life:

All: Let your spirit flow within us.

Presider: As life stirred in ancient waters

All: You blessed and hallowed your creatures

Presider: As cells joined and consciousness grew

All: You blessed and hallowed your creatures

Presider: As beings spread through sea, land and air.

All: You blessed and hallowed your creatures

Presider: Nothing you made was unmarked or unloved.

All: You blessed and hallowed your creatures

Presider: Each work of your hand is unique and precious

All: You blessed and hallowed your creatures

Presider: Knowing the mysteries of all hearts

All: You blessed and hallowed your creatures

Presider: Trusting them to the care of frail humanity

All: You blessed and hallowed your creatures

Presider: Make us worthy of your great trust.

All: Bless and hallow your servants. Amen.

Readings 

Psalm 148

Other…  

ATime of Silent and Open Prayer  

Closing prayers

Presider: All animals threatened, poisoned, made homeless and hungry by human greed.

All: We place into your healing hands

Presider: All animals denied the joy, freedom and fulfilment you made for them

All: We place into your healing hands

Presider: All humans with withered hearts and stunted compassion

All: We place into your healing hands

Presider: All humans sorrowing and daunted by our crimes against Creation

All: We place into your healing hands

Presider: Lord, we come in wonder at the great trust you have placed in frail humanity; help us to be more worthy of that trust. You gave us the joyful burden of caring for our fellow creatures; teach us to carry that burden with tenderness and wisdom. Turn our eyes to the glory of your resurrection, and flood all Creation with its light.

All: Amen.

Liturgy C

Presider: Giver of joy, we pray for all animals deprived of the fullness of life you intended them to know. For creatures caged or confined; stunted physically or emotionally by the cruelty and foolishness of humankind. Lord in your mercy

All: Hear our prayer

Presider: Giver of peace we pray for all animals facing pain or death. Jesus carried the suffering of all Creation on the cross, and all hurts wound the Body of Christ. May all creatures pass from the bonds of suffering into the light of your kingdom. Lord in your mercy

All: Hear our prayer

Presider: Giver of wisdom, we pray for humankind, stewards and priests of all Creation. Guide us to nurture and celebrate our fellow creatures, and turn our hearts from greed, malice and selfishness. Lord in your mercy

All: Hear our prayer

Presider: Alpha and Omega, we hold before you our beginnings and endings. As the seasons turn, new eyes open and old eyes close. You mark the hatching, flight and fall of each of your sparrows. We place our lives and the lives of all your creatures into your hands.

All: Amen.

Liturgy D

Presider: Creator God, well-spring of life:

All: Let your spirit flow within us

Presider: As life stirred in ancient waters

All: You blessed and hallowed your creatures

Presider: As cells joined and consciousness grew

All: You blessed and hallowed your creatures

Presider: As beings spread through sea, land and air.

All: You blessed and hallowed your creatures

Presider: Nothing you made was unmarked or unloved.

All: You blessed and hallowed your creatures

Presider: Each work of your hand unique and precious

All: You blessed and hallowed your creatures

Presider: Knowing the mysteries of all hearts

All: You blessed and hallowed your creatures

Presider: Trusting them to the care of frail humanity

All: You blessed and hallowed your creatures

Presider: Make us worthy of your great trust.

All: Bless and hallow your servants. Amen.

Readings

Psalm 148

Other…

Prayer/reflection  

Presider: All animals threatened, poisoned, made homeless and hungry by human greed.

All: We place into your healing hands

Presider: All animals denied the joy, freedom and fulfilment you made for them

All: We place into your healing hands

Presider: All humans with withered hearts and stunted compassion

All: We place into your healing hands

Presider: All humans sorrowing and daunted by our crimes against Creation

All: We place into your healing hands

Presider: Lord, we come in wonder at the great trust you have placed in frail humanity; help us to be more worthy of that trust. You gave us the joyful burden of caring for our fellow creatures; teach us to carry that burden with tenderness and wisdom. Turn our eyes to the glory of your resurrection, and flood all Creation with its light.

All: Amen.

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