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Holy Eucharist in the Celtic Tradition           

St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, Lent 2011

 

 

[Soft music playing.]

 

We Gather In

Leader             Shadows lengthen, darkness thickens, the lights are lit,

All                    And the day we have lived through comes to an end.

 

Leader             Let us worship the God who separated light from darkness.

All                    Hallowed be his name.

 

Leader             Let us worship the God who ordered the birth of the stars.

All                    Hallowed be his name.

 

Leader             Who watches over us, unsleeping, night and day.

All                    Hallowed be his name.

 

Leader             Let the day end, the night fall, the world move into silence,

                        And let God’s people say Amen.

All                    Amen.

 

Leader             Let minds unwind, hearts be still, bodies relax,

                        And let God’s people say Amen.

All                    Amen.

 

Leader             But before the day is done, Let God’s holy name be praised,

                        And let God’s people say Amen.[1]

All                    Amen.

 

[Space of rest as music continues to play.]

 

We Create a Sacred Space

[When music ends, acolyte lights three large, white candles on the altar, one by one.]

 

Celebrant        We will light a light in the name of God,

All                    Who is the Creator of all life.

Celebrant        We will light a light in the name of the Son,

All                    Who gives us new life.

Celebrant        We will light a light in the name of the Spirit,

All                    Whose presence makes all creation holy.[2]

 

Celebrant        Please stand.

We Give Praise

Celebrant        Creator God, because you make all that draws forth our praise

and the forms in which to express it,

All                    We praise you.

Celebrant        Because you make artists of us all,

awakening courage to look again at what is taken for granted,

grace to share these insights with others,

vision to reveal the future already in being,

All                    We praise you.                       

Celebrant        Because you form your Word among us,

                        and in your great work embrace all human experience,

                        even death itself, inspiring our resurrection song,

All                    We praise you.

Yours is the glory.[3]

 

Celebrant        Together we pray: In all we that do, today, tonight, and for ever,

All                    Lord, reveal in us your glory, stir in us your power, open in us your love, work in us your miracles, show in us your way, renew in us your kingdom—abide in us Yourself. Amen.[4]

 

Celebrant        Please be seated.

 

We Hear the Word

Leader             Reads psalm appointed for the week.

 

We Explore the Way

Celebrant        Offers homily.

 

We Affirm Our Faith: Tírechán’s Creed

Celebrant        Together let us affirm our faith in the words of Tírechán, seventh-century Irish bishop and biographer of our beloved Saint Patrick.

All

Our God is the God of all humans, the God of heaven and earth, the God of sea and rivers,

the God of sun and moon, the God of all heavenly bodies,

the God of the lofty mountains, the God of the lowly valleys.

God is above the heavens; and he is beneath the heavens,

Heaven and earth and sea, and everything that is in them, such he has as his abode.

He inspires all things, he gives life to all things,

he stands above all things, he stands beneath all things.

He enlightens the light of the sun, he strengthens the light of the night and the stars,

he makes wells in the arid land and dry islands in the sea,

and he places the stars in the service of the greater lights.

He has a Son who is co-eternal with himself; and similar in all respects to himself;

and neither is the Son younger than the Father, nor is the Father older than the Son;

and the Holy Spirit breathes in them.

And the Father and the Son and Holy Spirit are inseparable. Amen.[5]

 

Celebrant        Please be seated.

 

We Pray for Each Other and the World

Leader             Reads each prayer submitted by worshippers.

Lord, in your mercy,

All                    Hear our prayer.

 

We Share God’s Peace

Celebrant        God makes peace within us.

All                    Let us claim it.

Celebrant        God makes peace between us.

All                    Let us share it.[6]

 

[Sharing of the peace and announcements]

 

We Are Renewed

Celebrant        All things are yours, O God of all creation,

All                   And so we return our gifts to you.

Celebrant        Blessed are you, O God of all creation, through whose goodness we have this bread to offer, which earth has given and human hands have made;

All                   May it become for us the bread of life.

Celebrant        Blessed are you, O God of all creation, through whose goodness we have this wine to offer, fruit of the vine and work of human hands;

All                   May it become for us the cup of blessing.

Celebrant        Receive these gifts, dear God, and accept in them the sacrifice of ourselves.

All                   In life and in death, may we be an offering to you for ever.[7]

 

Celebrant        Great Creator Spirit, from whom all life comes forth, here we gather again with bread and with wine, seeking your presence, longing once more to be nourished,

hungering for wholeness in our lives, for unity on earth and for peace among the nations.

All                   Here we gather with bread and with wine,

but with more than bread and wine.

Celebrant        Here we gather with creation’s elements all around us. With earth, air, fire, and water still expanding through the universe, with the glory of the sun, the whiteness of the moon, the glittering of heaven’s lights off flowing waters.

All                    Here we gather with bread and with wine,

but with more than bread and wine.

Celebrant        So with everything that we see and sense around us, with visible and invisible energies that pulse with life, we join our souls in the song that vibrates throughout the whole of creation.

 

All                    Holy, holy, holy Lord,

God of power and might,

heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

 

Celebrant        Blessed are you, O God of all creation, your glory knows no bounds, and your love is without end. Blessed is Jesus, who in life and death revealed your glory and lived in your love. He taught his friends that to find life was first to lose it, and he spoke of the suffering that would be his.

 

On the night when he was betrayed, Jesus took bread, and having blessed it, he broke the bread and gave it to his friends, saying, “Take, eat, this is my body which is broken for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way he took wine and having given thanks for it, he poured it out, and gave the cup to his friends, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

 

[Space of silence]

 

Come upon us with your Holy Spirit, O God, and upon this bread and this wine, that we may be renewed once again, and that as the whole of life is made new, we may find your peace within and around us. We ask this in the Name of God who creates us, who redeems us, and who sustains us. Amen.[8]

                       

[Fraction]         Bread of life, nourish our souls. Light of the world, shine in our hearts.

 

[Communion]

 

We Return to the World

Celebrant        We give you thanks, O God, for calling us together this evening and for sustaining us with this holy meal. This place is sacred, this time is sacred, and in this place and this time, we have shared a mystery. May we in every place and time recognize the sacredness of life, and may we accept the mystery as we accept your love.[9]

 

[Acolyte extinguishes each of the three altar candles, one by one.]

Leader             Wherever we go,

                        may the joy of God the gracious

All                    Be with us.

Leader             Wherever we go,

                        may the face of Christ the kindly

All                    Be with us.

Leader             Wherever we go,

                        may the compassing of the Spirit of grace

All                    Be with us.

Leader             Wherever we go,

                        the presence of the Trinity around us

All                    To bless and to keep us.[10]

 

Celebrant        May the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ go with you,

                        Wherever He may send you,

May He guide you

through the wilderness,

protect you

through the storm.

May He bring you home rejoicing

at the wonders he has shown you.

May He bring you home rejoicing

once again into our doors. Amen.[11]

 

[Soft music resumes.]

 



[1] Wild Goose Resource Group, in Martin Wallace, The Celtic Resource Book (London; Church House Publishing, 2000), pp. 22–23.

[2] Elizabeth Grover, “Resources for Compiling a Celtic Liturgy” (Cincinnati: The Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, 2010) [http://www.redeemer-cincy.org/files/instructions/resources_for_compiling_a_celtic_liturgy.pdf].

 

[3] Kathy Galloway, ed., The Pattern of Our Days: Worship in the Celtic Tradition from the Iona Community (New York: Paulist Press, 1996), p. 102.

[4] David Adam, in Wallace, p. 77.

[5] The Patrician Texts from the Book of Armach, AD 670 (Ludwig Bieler) in Brendan O’Malley, ed. and comp., A Celtic Primer: The Complete Celtic Worship Resource and Collection (Morehouse, 2002), in Grover.

[6] The St. Hilda Community, The New Women Included: A Book of Services and Prayers (SPCK, 1996), in Grover.

[7] J. Philip Newell, An Earthful of Glory: Biblical Prayers, Liturgies, and Meditations (SPCK, 1996), in Grover.

 

[8] Adapted from J. Philip Newell, “A Mass for Peace” (The Iona Community), in Grover.

[9] Grover.

[10] Galloway, ed., p. 159.

[11] Peter Sutcliffe, from Morning Office, Celtic Daily Prayer, in Wallace, p. 37.