International Day of Older Persons
Between 2017 and 2030, the number of persons aged 60 years or over is projected to grow by 46 per cent (from 962 million to 1.4 billion) globally outnumbering youth, as well as children under the age of 10. Moreover, this increase will be the greatest and most rapid in the developing world. Population ageing is poised to become one of the most significant social transformations of the 21st century.
Older people have always played a significant role in society as leaders, caretakers and custodians of tradition. Yet they are also highly vulnerable, with many falling into poverty, becoming disabled or facing discrimination. As health care improves, the population of older people is growing. Their needs are also growing, as are their contributions to the world.
The International Day of Older Persons is an opportunity to highlight the important contributions that older people make to society and raise awareness of the opportunities and challenges of ageing in today’s world.
God of all creation, you are timeless and beyond all ages.
We who are growing old give thanks for the years you have given us –
for family, friends and all those who have enriched our lives.
We who are not yet old give thanks for the older people in our lives:
for grandparents, loved ones, friends and all who generously offer
the wise counsel of their years.
We who are growing old pray that we may be patient with our ageing limbs
and difficulties in everyday tasks we once did much more easily.
We who are not yet old pray for patience and kindness
towards those who do not move as quickly as we would sometimes like.
We who are growing old pray for good health in our later years,
and forbearance when our health fails us.
We who are not yet old pray for good health for those we love
and compassion towards those who suffer ill health.
We who are growing old pray for prudence and sweet timing, in offering our wisdom to the next generation, while respecting their energy and creativity.
We who are not yet old pray for openness and humility in receiving
the advice and guidance of our elders.
We who are growing old pray that we may face our death with serenity and dignity.
We who are not yet old pray that we affirm the sacredness of each person’s life
and accompany those who are dying with gentleness and deep respect.
God of endless love, help us to understand that we share a common life journey,
a call to live life to the full and to strive to enable all creation to come
to the fullness of the Cosmic Christ. Amen