Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lughnasadh (Lammas) Liturgy


The earth is the Lord's
And all that is upon it
Created and creative things
Fruit and Fruitfulness
Springtime and Summer
Seedtime and harvest
For the promise of harvest
contained within a seed
we thank you.

For the oak tree
within an acorn
The bread
within a grain
The apple
within a pip
The mystery of nature
gift wrapped
for us to sow
we thank you.
‘As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.’ (Gen 8:22)

We see signs of summer's passing in golden leaves,
shortening days, misty mornings, autumn glow.
We sense its passing in rain that dampens,
winds that chill, Harvest's bounty placed on show.
Creator God, who brings forth
both green shoot and hoar frost,
sunrise and sunset,
we bring our thanks
for seeds that have grown,
harvests gathered,
storehouses filled,
mouths fed.

And, as your good earth rests
through winter's cold embrace,
we look forward to its re-awakening
when kissed by Spring's first touch.

Here a song, chant or hymn might be sung

‘Sow everywhere the good seed given to you. Sow in good ground, sow in sand, sow among the stones, sow on the oad, sow among the weeds. Perhaps some of these seeds will open up and grow and bring forth fruit, even if not at once'
Seraphim of Sarov (1759-1833) Russian monk

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves."
John Muir

"We marvel at the Creator, not only as the one who made heaven and earth, sun and ocean, elephants, camels, horses, oxen, leopards, bears and lions, but also as the one who made the small creatures: ants, gnats, flies, worms and the like - things whose shape we know better than their names. And as in all creation we revere his skill, so the one whose mind is given to Christ is earnest in small things as in great, knowing that an account must be given even for an idle word."
Jerome (331-420) Church Father

For creativity in its many forms
we give you thanks
For the skill of weaver
potter, artist, sculptor
needle worker
all who take that which you have given
and make with it something of beauty
For fruitfulness in its many forms
we give you thanks
For selfless love
grace, wisdom, knowledge
all who take that which you have given
and make with it something of beauty

For summer's passing
and harvest home
For seed that has fallen
the promise of spring
We bless you,
God of Seed and Harvest
And we bless each other
That the beauty of this world
And the love that created it
Might be expressed though our lives
And be a blessing to others
Now and always

liturgy developed by John Birch

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Celtic Advent Begins


The lantern is lit

(A few moments of silence)

'Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.'

(John 1:3-5)
In the beginning, Lord

I was alone

Like the earth

before your Spirit moved over the waters.

I was formless and empty

and darkness filled the depths of my heart.

Then, it was as if you declared

'Let there be Light'

and out of the darkness

I began to see hope

like a shimmering ray of love

breaking through the parting clouds

at the conclusion of the night.

In the beginning, Lord I was alone

but when I saw you in the light I was no longer afraid.

You held out your hand

and though I had a choice

I had no choice

because to refuse

was to embrace again the darkness.

In the beginning, Lord I was alone

now I am again a part

of your creation

loved, wanted, needed, family.

In the light of your presence

I hold out my heart that others

might glimpse through it your reflection

and be drawn from the darkness that I once embraced

into the light of your sunrise

the brightness of your face

Lord Jesus, Son of God, Saviour of the world

All: Be the centre of all that we are, and the life that we lead

Lord Jesus, Light in this dark World, illuminate our hearts and minds

All: Be the centre of all that we are, and the life that we lead

(A space for music to be played or sung )

'There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.'

(John 1:6-9)

(A moment of silence - During the silence, you may like to read and reflect on the words that have been read, gaze at the lantern - or simply enjoy the peace and calm )

In the lonely places

The wilderness

Where we stand forlorn

Windswept and alone

Your voice calls out

Prepare a way for the Lord

In the dark places

The shadows

Where we hide our fears

Embrace our tears

Your voice calls out

Prepare a way for the Lord

For the desert places in which we walk

The streets we roam

The paths we cross

Guide our feet

Take us to places

Where you would go

Give us words that you would use

That in this Advent season

Of promise and preparation

We might point the way with John the Baptist

To the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

O come, Thou Day-spring, from on high,

And cheer us by thy drawing nigh;

Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,

And death's dark shadows put to flight.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

Shall come again and with us ever dwell

(Scripture reading - possibly the Gospel reading for the day)

(A space for music to be played or sung)

(Intercessions - A caim prayer)

Circle us, Lord

Circle us with the light of your presence, bright within this dark word

Enable us to be overcomers of fear and temptation

Enable us to be victors over sin and despair

Enable us to become that which you would desire

(Silent prayer)

Lord of creation, Lord of Salvation

Circle us with the light of your presence

Circle us, Lord

Circle our family within the shelter of your outstretched arms

Protect them in each moment of their daily lives

Protect them in the decisions that they face

Protect their homes and relationships

(Silent prayer)

Lord of creation, Lord of Salvation

Circle our families with the light of your presence

Circle us, Lord

Circle this nation with Advent love and hope

Create a desire to listen to the Advent message

Create a willingness to understand and respond

Create a need to reach out to the Christ Child

(Silent prayer)

Lord of creation, Lord of Salvation

Circle our nation with the light of your presence

Circle us, Lord

Circle this world with the joy of your Salvation

Where there is sickness and disease bring healing

Where there is hunger and despair bring hope

Where there is torture and oppression bring release

(Silent prayer)

Lord of creation, Lord of Salvation

Circle this world with the light of your presence

Lord, thou hast given us thy Word for a light to shine upon our path;

grant us so to meditate on that Word, and to follow its teaching,

that we may find in it the light that shines more and more until the perfect day; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Christian Pacifisim

The feeling of patriotism - It is an immoral feeling because, instead of confessing himself a son of God . . . or even a free man guided by his own reason, each man under the influence of patriotism confesses himself the son of his fatherland and the slave of his government, and commits actions contrary to his reason and conscience." Leo Tolstoy, Patriotism and Government

Those soldiers were filled with wonder and admiration at the grandeur of the man’s piety and generosity and were struck with amazement. They felt the force of this example of pity. As a result, many of them were added to the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ and threw off the belt of military service.
—Disputation of Archelaus and Manes

I do not wish to be a king; I am not anxious to be rich; I decline military command... Die to the world, repudiating the madness that is in it.
Titian’s Address to the Greeks

The Scriptures teach that there are two opposing princes and two opposing kingdoms : the one is the Prince of peace ; the other the prince of strife. Each of these princes has his particular kingdom and as the prince is so is also the kingdom. The Prince of peace is Christ Jesus ; His kingdom is the kingdom of peace, which is His church; His messengers are the messengers of peace; His Word is the word of peace; His body is the body of peace; His children are the seed of peace.  Menno Simmons(1494-1561), Reply to False Accusations, III
To our most bitter opponents we say: ‘We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We shall meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will, and we shall continue to love you.’
Martin Luther King. (1929-1968), “Loving your Enemies” in Strength to Love
Love without courage and wisdom is sentimentality, as with the ordinary church member. Courage without love and wisdom is foolhardiness, as with the ordinary soldier. Wisdom without love and courage is cowardice, as with the ordinary intellectual. Therefore one who has love, courage, and wisdom is the one in a million who moves the world, as with Jesus, Buddha, and Gandhi.
Ammon Hennecy (1893 - 1970)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Litany of the Celtic Saints (1)


                                                             God of the Incarnate Word
   have mercy upon us
God of the Abiding Spirit
   have mercy upon us
St. Aidan of Lindisfarne
   St. Aidan pray for us
St. Bede the Venerable
   St. Bede pray for us
St. Brendan the Navigator
   St. Brendan pray for us
St. Brigid of Kildare
   St. Brigid pray for us
St. Kieran of Clonmacnoise
   St. Kieran pray for us
St. Columba of Iona
   St. Columba pray for us
St. Finian of Clonard
   St. Finian pray for us
St. Francis of Assisi
   St. Francis pray for us
St. Hilda of Whitby
   St. Hilda pray for us
St. Ita, Foster Mother of the Saints
   St. Ita pray for us
St. Killian the Missionary
   St. Killian pray for us
St. Martin of Tours
   St. Martin pray for us
St. Patrick the Enlightener
   St. Patrick pray for us
All Saints of the Green Martyrdom
Green Matyrs, pray for us
All Celtic Saints Beloved of Christ
Beloved Celtic Saints, pray for us
Lord Have Mercy
Christ Have Mercy
                                                                    Lord Have Mercy