The power of praise psalms to encourage awareness of ecological issues amongst worshippers

21 May 2014

The liturgy ought to sensitise believers anew to glorifying God as the Creator and the Recreator of the universe. The Book of Psalms may be used to great effect to sharpen the ecological awareness of believers. The topic is investigated on the basis of three creation psalms, namely Psalm 19, 104 and 148. In particular, it asks how the praise of the so-called creation psalms serves to alert believers not only to conserve nature in their own context, but also, together with nature, to praise God in word and deed? The fact that the ecological crisis directly concerns our earth, air and water, that is, our basic sustenance ought to lead worshippers in the worship service to serious reflection. The destruction of ecological systems has a direct effect on every other problem faced by plant, human and animal. The focus of Psalm 19 on the heavens puts air pollution, global warming and damage to the ozone layer on the agenda of every worship-service participant. In the songs of praise in Psalm 104 and 148, humans are seen as part of the artistic creation web which ought to be conserved.