Classic case of “out with the old, in with the new.” A 350 year-old prayer was used to keep glaciers from expanding and threatening small villages in the mountains of Switzerland. Now those glaciers are melting. And Catholic pilgrims have won the approval of the Vatican to replace the 350 year-old prayer with a new one. The Vatican approved a new prayer to god, this time to keep the glaciers from melting and stop climate change.
“Glacier is ice, ice is water, water is life,” intoned priest Toni Wenger, before beseeching God to stop the glaciers high above them from melting.
By changing a few, crucial words in the liturgy, Father Wenger reversed a Catholic ritual that for 350 years had implored the heavens to push back the glaciers.
Climate change’s effects are accentuated in mountainous regions, and in the 20th century temperatures in Alpine Switzerland increased by twice the global average. Today Swiss glaciers are shrinking by nearly 33 feet (10 meters) a year, on average. What’s more, alpine communities are reporting more rain and stronger winds than in centuries past.
Fascinating read at National Geographic