LSRI Organises Major Ecumenical Event in Assisi

The Laudato Si’ Research Institute at Campion Hall organised a major ecumenical gathering in Assisi to explore the possibility of elevating the observance of the Feast of Creation to the status of liturgical feast in the calendar of Western Churches.

After decades of ecumenical celebrations of the annual “Feast of Creation” on or around the 1st of September, also known as “Creation Day” or “World Day of Prayer for Creation”, this historic gathering in March 2024 brought together church leaders and theological and liturgical scholars from various denominations to discuss the place of ecology and Creation in the life of the Church and seek consensus on a new liturgical feast as a way of marking the 1700th anniversary of the Council of Nicaea in 325.

Addressing the gathering Dr Celia Dene-Drummond, Senior Research Fellow in Theology at Campion Hall and Director of the Laudato Si’ Research Institute, wrote: “Although there is a modern tendency to keep the mystery of creation separated from that of Christ, that the former does not make sense without the latter is grounded in centuries of Christian discourse. Indeed, finding that connectivity is embedded in the mystery of the incarnation as having theological significance for the whole of the created world, including its origin. Once the incarnation is understood in relation to the creation, the work of the Trinity in both creation and redemption comes into focus...”

A report is now available telling the “story” of the gathering, describing the origin of the observance, the theological and liturgical dialogues carried out in Assisi, and the extraordinary consensus that emerged. It also provides some framing of the theological and liturgical questions that remain open, and proposes next steps and directions for ongoing discernment during 2024-2025.

Reflecting on the gathering Dr Tim Howles, Associate Director of the LSRI, commented: “The idea of elevating 1st September as a Feast of Creation for the western churches is a great way to express our shared concern for our common home. It was my pleasure to be present in Assisi for this event. I was thrilled to see the depth of the theological and liturgical work taking place amongst all participants, which I think will provide a framework for further ecumenical discussions this year and next." 

The full report from the March 2024 event is available here.