The Liturgy of the Word

Readings Relating to Creation
and Renewal of the World

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Genesis 1:1-2:2

In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth.

Now the Earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light "day," and the darkness God called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning-the first day.

And God said, "Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water." So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. God called the expanse "sky." And there was evening, and there was morning-the second day.

And God said, "Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear." And it was so. God called the dry ground "land," and the gathered waters God called "seas." And God saw that it was good.

Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds." And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning-the third day.

And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the Earth." And it was so. God made two great lights-the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. God also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the Earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning-the fourth day.

And God said, "Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the Earth across the expanse of the sky." So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the Earth." And there was evening, and there was morning-the fifth day.

And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

Then God said, "Let us make humankind in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the Earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

So God created humankind in God's own image, in the image of God [He] created [him]; male and female God created them.

God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the Earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole Earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the Earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground-everything that has the breath of life in it-I give every green plant for food." And it was so.

God saw all that God had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning-the sixth day.

Thus the Heavens and the Earth were completed in all their vast array.

By the seventh day God had finished the work God had been doing; so on the seventh day God rested from all his work.
 

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Psalm 104:1-33

Praise the Lord O my soul. O Lord my God,
You are very great;
You are clothed with splendor and majesty.

He wraps himself in light as with a garment;
He stretches out the Heavens like a tent

And lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
He makes the clouds his chariot
and rides on the wings of the wind.

He makes winds his messengers,
flames of fire his servants.

He set the Earth on its foundations;
it can never be moved.

You covered it with the deep as with a garment;
the waters stood above the mountains.

But at Your rebuke the waters fled,
at the sound of Your thunder they took to flight;

they flowed over the mountains,
they went down into the valleys,
to the place You assigned for them.

You set a boundary they cannot cross;
never again will they cover the Earth.

He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
it flows between the mountains.

They give water to all the beasts of the field;
the wild donkeys quench their thirst.

The birds of the air nest by the waters;
they sing among the branches.

He waters the mountains from his upper chambers;
the Earth is satisfied by the fruit of his work.

He makes grass grow for the cattle,
and plants for man to cultivate- bringing forth food from the Earth:

wine that gladdens the heart of man,
oil to make his face shine,
and bread that sustains his heart.

The trees of the Lord are well watered,
the cedars of Lebanon that He planted.

There the birds make their nests;
the stork has its home in the pine trees.

The high mountains belong to the wild goats;
the crags are a refuge for the coneys.

The Moon marks off the seasons,
and the Sun knows when to go down.

You bring darkness, it becomes night,
and all the beasts of the forest prowl.

The lions roar for their prey
and seek their food from God.

The sun rises, and they steal away;
they return and lie down in their dens.

Then man goes out to his work,
to his labor until evening.

How many are Your works,
O Lord! In Wisdom You made them all;
the Earth is full of Your creatures.

There is the sea, vast and spacious,
teeming with creatures beyond number
- living things both large and small.

There the ships go to and fro,
and the leviathan, which You formed to frolic there.

These all look to You
to give them their food at the proper time.

When You give it to them, they gather it up;
when You open Your hand, they are satisfied with good things.

When You hide Your face, they are terrified;
when You take away their breath, they die and return to the dust.

When You send Your Spirit, they are created,
and You renew the face of the Earth.

May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
may the Lord rejoice in His works-

He who looks at the Earth, and it trembles,
who touches the mountains, and they smoke.

I will sing to the Lord my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
 

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Psalm 136:1-9, 23-26

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.
His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.

To him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.

Who by his understanding made the Heavens,
His love endures forever.

Who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.

Who made the great lights-
His love endures forever.

The Sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.

The Moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.

To the One who remembered us in our low estate
His love endures forever.

And freed us from our enemies,
His love endures forever.

And who gives food to every creature.
His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of Heaven.
His love endures forever.
 

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Psalm 36:5-10

Your love, O Lord, reaches to the Heavens,
Your faithfulness to the skies.

Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
Your Justice like the great deep.
O Lord, You preserve both human and beast.

How priceless is Your unfailing love!
Both high and low among humankind
find refuge in the shadow of Your wings.

They feast on the abundance of Your house;
You give them drink from Your river of delights.

For with You is the Fountain of Life;
in Your light we see light.

Continue Your love to those who know You,
Your righteousness to the upright in heart.