Pope Francis announces World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

In a letter published on 6 August Pope Francis has announced a World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation:

Sharing the concern of my beloved brother, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, for the future of creation (cf. Laudato Si’, 7-9), and at the suggestion of his representative, Metropolitan Ioannis of Pergamum, who took part in the presentation of the Encyclical Laudato Si’ on care for our common home, I wish to inform you that I have decided to institute in the Catholic Church the “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation” which, beginning this year, is to be celebrated on 1 September, as has been the custom in the Orthodox Church for some time.

The purpose of the day will be to

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 celebration of this Day, on the same date as the Orthodox Church, will be a valuable opportunity to bear witness to our growing communion with our Orthodox brothers and sisters. We live at a time when all Christians are faced with the same decisive challenges, to which we must respond together, in order to be more credible and effective. It is my hope that this Day will in some way also involve other Churches and ecclesial Communities, and be celebrated in union with similar initiatives of the World Council of Churches.

The day has been incorporated into the Cycle of Prayer under the Autumn Intention: The Harvest, the Fruits of Human Work, and the Reverent Use of Creation.

Bishops’ Conference News

Liturgical Calendar 2016

The monthly Liturgical Calendar for 2016 has now been posted to the website.

For those wishing to look ahead the draft Calendar Notes for 2017 are available here.

Additions to the Calendar

The following celebrations have been added to the Universal Calendar: 11 October – St John XXIII, 22 October – St John Paul II. Both are Optional Memorials.

Changes to the Cycle of Prayer

The Cycle of Prayer is how the Days of Special Prayer are organised with an encouragement that appropriate prayer and activity takes place within the season.

The Bishops’ Conference has made a number of changes to the Cycle of Prayer which are effective from 2016:

  • Education Day to 2nd Sunday in September
  • Day for Life to the 3rd Sunday in June.
  • Racial Justice Day to 3 Sundays before the 1st Sunday of Lent

Summary of dates 2016

Sundays: Year C
Weekdays: Year II

1st Sunday of Advent Sunday 29 November 2015
Christmas Friday 25 December 2015
Epiphany of the Lord Sunday 3 January 2015
Ash Wednesday Wednesday 10 February
Easter Sunday Sunday 27 March
Ascension of the Lord Sunday 8 May
Pentecost Sunday 15 May
Body and Blood of the Lord Sunday 29 May
St Peter & St Paul Wednesday 29 June
The Assumption Sunday 14 August
All Saints Tuesday 1 November
All Souls Wednesday 2 November

Liturgical Calendar 2015

Some of the most visited pages on the Liturgy Office website are the monthly Calendar pages. They provide information for each day about what is celebrated. The monthly pages for the forthcoming year are usually added in August and 2015 are now available. As well as the web pages there is a downloadable calendar which can printed to A6 size and be inserted in breviaries or missals.

Earlier in the year, usually about February, the Office issues annual Calendar Notes. The notes highlight the main moveable dates for each year and what is changed. It does not give details of every day but should mean that it is possible to work out  the necessary information. (To assist this the list of Dates for Sundays is useful.) Draft Notes are also given for the following year (e.g. 2016) — as a rule there is generally not much change between the draft notes and the final version. On the Calendar Notes are also given any substantial changes — such as changes to the Cycle of Prayer or additions to the Calendar — such as the inclusion os St John Paul II in the National Calendars for England and Wales.

Summary of dates 2015

Sundays: Year B
Weekdays: Year I

1st Sunday of Advent Sunday 30 November 2014
Christmas Thursday 25 December 2014
Epiphany of the Lord Sunday 4 January 2015
Ash Wednesday Wednesday 18 February
Easter Sunday Sunday 5 April
Ascension of the Lord Sunday 17 May
Pentecost Sunday 24 May
Body and Blood of the Lord Sunday 7 June
St Peter & St Paul Sunday 28 June
The Assumption Sunday 16 August
All Saints Sunday 1 November
All Souls Monday 2 November

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