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The World Council of Churches' invitation to participate in Earth Week 2023 [click]

A reading for Earth Week - the Old Testament reading from the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral in 2021: Ecclesiasticus 43:11-26. The book of Ecclesiasticus, or Sirach, or Ben Sirah (Wisdom of Sirach), is included in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox canons but not the Jewish and Protestant (including Anglican) ones, so it's not one we encounter in the Sunday lectionary. It is one of the books of the Protestant Apocrypha.

Poetry of wonder in creation, a hymn of praise to the Creator. 

Look at the rainbow and praise its Maker; it shines with a supreme beauty,

rounding the sky with its gleaming arc, a bow bent by the hands of the Most High. 

His command speeds the snow storm and sends the swift lightning to execute his sentence.

To that end the storehouses are opened, and the clouds fly out like birds.

By his mighty power the clouds are piled up and the hailstones broken small. 

The crash of his thunder makes the earth writhe, and, when he appears, an earthquake shakes the hills.

At his will the south wind blows, the squall from the north and the hurricane.

He scatters the snow-flakes like birds alighting; they settle like a swarm of locusts.

The eye is dazzled by their beautiful whiteness, and as they fall the mind is entranced.

He spreads frost on the earth like salt, and icicles form like pointed stakes.

A cold blast from the north, and ice grows hard on the water, settling on every pool, as though the water were putting on a breastplate. 

He consumes the hills, scorches the wilderness, and withers the grass like fire. 

Cloudy weather quickly puts all to rights, and dew brings welcome relief after heat. 

By the power of his thought he tamed the deep and planted it with islands.

Those who sail the sea tell stories of its dangers, which astonish all who hear them; in it are strange and wonderful creatures, all kinds of living things and huge sea-monsters. 

By his own action he achieves his end, and by his word all things are held together.

 Read the full chapter here (NRSVA)

More for Earth Week

Some resources for Anglicans in Earth Week, leading up to Earth Day (22 April):

  • Earth Week with For the Love of Creation - the Anglican Church of Canada, KAIROS Canada and PWRDF are members [click]
  • Recordings of John Albert Hall Lectures from UVic's Centre for Studies in Religion and Society, many of which are on ecological and climate justice themes [click]
  • Recordings of the 'One Planet One People: Working together to meet the challenge of an ecological crisis' series of Wonderful Wednesdays talks from St George's Cadboro Bay [click]
  • Green Anglicans (Anglican Church of South Africa) [click]
  • Land & Nature webinars (recordings) from the Church of England [click]
  • Reforesting Faith by Matthew Sleeth

More suggestions welcome! send to

Photo by Kym Ellis on Unsplash