On Saturday 25 July Our Lady, Star of the Sea parish in Burry Port hosted a Creation Mass at their 6.30 evening service. The celebrant was the parish priest Fr Martin Donnelly. The church was transformed into the Garden of Eden by Fr Martin to reflect the beauty and wonder of creation. This included the altar being festooned with animals and clouds, the sun, the moon and stars provided by the local school being hung nearby.
As parishioners and invited guests arrived for the Saturday Vigil they witnessed the transformation and listened to bird song until Mass began.
Fr Martin explained the importance holding a special Creation Celebration Mass and remembering how God had entrusted the care of Creation to us. He also stressed the importance of listening to Pope Francis; in Laudato Si‘ the Holy Father has described how our beautiful planet has been despoiled and exploited for profit. We all need to value Creation.
“Creation is the order of love. God’s love is the fundamental moving force in all created things.” Laudato Si #77
A packed church included the local Mayor Mr Peter Freeman and his consort Belinda. Mayor Freeman gave the first reading.
Maria Elena Arana, CAFOD’s Campaign Co-ordinator (and Livesimply Award organiser) in London, had also travelled to join the celebration. Maria Elena read the bidding prayers asking that the parishioners of Our Lady Star of the Sea parish community, through the grace of God, may hear the urgent cry of the earth and of the poor and be inspired to respond at this crucial time.
The offertory procession brought beautiful gifts of plants, fruit, vegetables and a globe which all reminded us of the abundance of creation.
“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” Genesis 1:31
One of the altar servers, Violet, aged 14, sang a beautiful solo of Ave Maria to Mary as Mother of Creation.
The congregation listened to a talk by Stella Westmacott, the local CAFOD campaign volunteer co-ordinator and member of the parish.
In her reflection, Stella explained why CAFOD works with the most vulnerable and hard to reach people who are already suffering the effects of climate change. Climate change affects us all, not just overseas but also here in the United Kingdom.
She concluded with poignant words from the former children’s Laureate and “War Horse” author, Michael Morpurgo’s who wrote a beautiful letter aiming to inspire us to protect the people, the places and life we love from climate change for generations to come: “I wish for you….” a letter from a grandfather to his granddaughter:
“Dear little Miss Mia,
There’s so much I wish for you.
I love the days when you work with me in the garden.
I love above all your delight in everything, that wriggly worm you held between your fingers,
just you kneeling there in the earth, so full of joy in being alive.
But one day, Mia, if we do not care for it, this good earth of ours will be as arid and lifeless
as the moon.
…So go on loving, go on planting, and growing and harvesting,
live always in rhythm, in harmony
with this wonderful earth,
and all shall be well.
And my dreams and wishes
for you will come true.
But all shall be well only if we make it well, Mia.
There’s a lot of work to do. A lot of planting.
A lot of loving. As I do you.
The Creation Celebration continued in the parish hall after Mass, beginning with grace and a short discussion about climate change and what kind of nature brought us closer to God’s creation. Residents are able to enjoy both the forest and the sea in the local area.
A celebratory meal included egg sandwiches, delicious vegan dips, pizza, scones with jam and cream and delicious Victoria sponges! A feast was enjoyed by all.
The Time is Now: You can make your voice heard! Put Wednesday 26 June in your diary and join us at Parliament to lobby our MPs and AMs to confront this climate and environmental crisis and tell them that Britain should no longer contribute to the destruction of our common home.
Schools resource on For the Love of here