Season of Creation liturgical resource approved for use in 42 dioceses

Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts
Posted Jun 20, 2024

Celebration Guide for Episcopal Parishes updated for Lectionary Year B, the Daily Office, and more

Dioceses that authorized 2024 Season of Creation worship guide as of its official release on June 20. Graphic by John Buterbaugh from the Diocese of Central New York.

As of its official release on June 20, the 2024 edition of Season of Creation: A Celebration Guide for Episcopal Parishes has already been authorized for use in 42 dioceses during this year’s Season of Creation (Sept. 1-Oct. 4). The following bishops endorsed its use in their dioceses within three weeks of pre-release review:

The Rt. Rev. Glenda S. Curry,
            Diocese of Alabama

The Rt. Rev. Kevin D. Nichols,
            Diocese of Bethlehem

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Marc Handley Andrus,
Diocese of California

The Rt. Rev. Russell Kendrick,
Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast

The Rt. Rev. Kymberly Lucas,
            Episcopal Church in Colorado

The Rt. Rev. Jeffrey W. Mello,
            Episcopal Church in Connecticut

 The Rt. Rev. Gladstone “Skip” Adams (Assisting Bishop),
            Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan

The Rt. Rev. Patrick W. Bell,
Diocese of Eastern Oregon

The Rt. Rev. Santosh K. Marray,
            Diocese of Easton

The Rt. Rev. Lucinda Beth Ashby,
            Diocese of El Camino Real

The Rt. Rev. Mark D.W. Edington,
            Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe

The Rt. Rev. Joseph Tharakan,
            Diocese of Idaho

The Rt. Rev. Betsey Monnot,
            Diocese of Iowa

The Rt. Rev. Cathleen Chittenden Bascom,
            Diocese of Kansas

The Rt. Rev. Lawrence C. Provenzano,
            Diocese of Long Island

The Rt. Rev. Thomas J. Brown,
            Diocese of Maine

 The Rt. Rev. Carrie Schofield-Broadbent,
            Diocese of Maryland 

The Rt. Rev. Alan M. Gates,
            Diocese of Massachusetts

The Rt. Rev. Brian R. Seage,
            Diocese of Mississippi

 The Rt. Rev. Deon K. Johnson,
Diocese of Missouri

The Rt. Rev. J. Scott Barker,
            Diocese of Nebraska

The Rt. Rev. Elizabeth Bonforte Gardner,
            Diocese of Nevada

The Rt. Rev. A. Robert Hirschfeld,
            Diocese of New Hampshire

The Rt. Rev. Sally French,
            Diocese of New Jersey

The Rt. Rev. Matthew F. Heyd,
            Diocese of New York

The Rt. Rev. Samuel S. Rodman,
            Diocese of North Carolina

 The Rt. Rev. Megan M. Traquair,
            Diocese of Northern California

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Douglas E. Sparks,
            Diocese of Northern Indiana

The Rt. Rev. Rayford J. Ray,
            Diocese of Northern Michigan

The Most Rev. Melissa Skelton (Bishop Provisional),
            Diocese of Olympia

The Rt. Rev. Steven T. Lane (Bishop Provisional), and the Very Rev. Kara Wagner Sherer (Bishop- elect),
            Diocese of Rochester

The Rt. Rev. David Rice,
            Diocese of San Joaquin

 The Rt. Rev. Kristin Uffelman White,
            Diocese of Southern Ohio

The Rt. Rev. Susan B. Haynes,
            Diocese of Southern Virginia

The Rt. Rev. Gretchen Rehberg,
            Diocese of Spokane

The Rt. Rev. Phyllis A. Spiegel,
            Diocese of Utah

The Rt. Rev. Mariann Budde,
            Diocese of Washington

The Rt. Rev. Phoebe A. Roaf,
            Diocese of West Tennessee

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Douglas J. Fisher,
            Diocese of Western Massachusetts

The Rt. Rev. José A. McLoughlin,
            Diocese of Western North Carolina

The Rt. Rev. Diana D. Akiyama,
            Episcopal Church in Western Oregon

Developing this resource has been a grassroots effort inspired by the ecumenical Season of Creation movement, a desire for authentic Episcopal liturgical expression, and the awareness that parish leaders often have limited time and energy to prepare and plan services for every season. Encouraged by the Creation Care Leadership Circle of the Diocese of Western Massachusetts, a parish priest with design background and a Creation care missioner with extensive prayerful activist experience collaborated to find, curate, and present a collection of resources from all over the Anglican Communion over a few short weeks in summer 2022. That 128-page PDF for Lectionary Year C was published for the dioceses of Massachusetts and Western Massachusetts but quickly attracted interest and use in other dioceses across the Church. In 2023, Episcopal News Service reported on sixteen bishops endorsing the guide in seventeen dioceses, the news of which resulted in a final count of 28 dioceses for that year.

In 2024, the collaboration and materials have grown extensively. Several clergy members from across the Church and Communion provided new resources and input. In addition to completing the third and final year of the Lectionary Cycle (Year B), this edition includes:

  • An all-new Daily Office guide for lay-led services;
  • Expanded and diversified readings;
  • “On Preaching with Creation” from Salal+Cedar in the Anglican Church of Canada; and
  • Many other improvements throughout.

Each yearly edition of the guide contains optional reading and preaching suggestions for the Lectionary of the given year; suggestions for incorporating Creation into the Holy Eucharist (and now Daily Office); and a collection of resources covering: Collects, Prayers, & Intercessions, Litanies & Penitential Orders, Songs of Praise & Canticles, Affirmations of Faith, Eucharistic Prayers, Readings for Creation, Quotes on Creation, Prayers of the People, Music for Creation, and Books and Curriculums. Most importantly, it provides theological framing and is firmly grounded in tradition while expanding our prayers. The hope is that by next year there will be a perennial edition in the works toward Church-wide adoption.

The new 2024 Liturgical Guide may be reviewed and downloaded here: https://newcreationliturgies.org/season. Bishops may authorize the materials all the way to Sept. 1, the Feast Day of Creation and the first day of Season of Creation.  The names of endorsing dioceses listed on the pdf file will be updated until Sept. 1. To authorize, contact season@newcreationliturgies.org.

The Rev. John Elliott Lein, a former designer and current priest in Maine, sourced much of the original material, developed the format and rubrics of the guide, and produced the layout in PDF and online for all three editions. “It has been a blessing to find and present beautiful prayers and liturgies with Creation from the Christian tradition across time and space,” Lein reflected. “We are re-membering our place in the greater story of God as we celebrate this Season with voices across the ecumenical world, each in our own way. I’m grateful to be part of a Church rooted in a tradition that leads us toward new creation justice as a witness to the world.”

The Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, who is retiring July 1st from diocesan ministry, believes this third and final edition “is the best one yet.” She has led the project’s growth from a local resource to adoption by a third of our dioceses in the U.S. and is eager to see the liturgical resources used by the whole Episcopal Church. “I’m particularly glad we can offer it to the Church when General Convention has an opportunity to consider a resolution [Resolution #D041] that supports adding an ecumenical Feast Day of Creation in our liturgical calendar and encourages celebration of the Season of Creation. This worship guide will help us celebrate!”