Celebrating Alban Arthan: A Liturgy for the Winter Solstice

Preparation

Approach

In the name of God, the Three-in-One, the One-in-Three,
One holy and blessed Trinity, now and for ever. AMEN.

Druid Call for Peace

Deep within the still center of my being
May I find peace.

Silently within the quiet of the grove
May I share peace.

Gently (or powerfully) within the greater circle of humankind
May I radiate peace.

Greeting the Four Directions

All praise and honor are yours, O God.
Angels and Archangels sing your praise.
Even at this darkest time of the year,
Winter’s barren trees and evergreens proclaim your glory.
The four corners of the earth honor you
And bring us your radiance and power.
With the Hawk of Dawn soaring in the clear, pure AIR,
With the ever green pines, cedars, and firs,
We await the return of light in the EAST.
With Mary, Our Mother, 
we pray for wisdom, perception, and vision.
With the great Stag in the heat of the chase,
With the prickly holly leaf and its blood-red berries,
We look to the SOUTH as we await the coming of the new Sun’s FIRE.
With the prophets of old and those among us now,
We pray for strength, passion, and courage.
With the Salmon of Wisdom who dwells in the sacred WATERS of the pool,
With the growing green and twisting ivy,
We turn to the restorative darkness of the WEST.
Finding strength in living community of believers and the communion of saints,
We pray for intuition, spiritual understanding, companionship, and love.
With the great Bear of the Starry Heavens,
With the deep and fruitful EARTH,
With the mistletoe that hangs between heaven and earth,
We turn to the NORTH, seeking stability and strength.
With all of creation that nurtures and sustains us,
We pray that our lives will bear good fruit in the coming year.
All praise and honor to God, the Three-in-One, the One-in-Three,
One holy and blessed Trinity,
Now and ever and unto Ages of Ages. AMEN.

The Druid’s Prayer

Grant, O God, Thy Protection;
And in protection, strength;
And in strength, understanding;
And in understanding, knowledge;
And in knowledge, the knowledge of justice;
And in the knowledge of justice, the love of it;
And in that love, the love of all existences;
And in the love of all existences, the love of God: Creator, Redeemer, and Life-Giver,
Mary our mother,
all the angels and saints,
All of creation that sustains and nourishes us,
and all goodness.

— Adapted from Iolo Morganwg (attributed)

Song

The Word of God

Scripture Reading

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

— John 1:1-9 (New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised)

At the end of the reading say:

For the Word of God in Scripture,
For the Word of God among us,
For the Word of God within us,
Thanks be to God.

Iona Community

Canticle

Arise, shine; for your light has come,*
    and the glory of God is rising upon you.
Though night still covers the earth,*
    and darkness the peoples;
Above you the Holy One arises,*
    and above you God’s glory appears.
The nations will come to your light,*
    and rulers to you dawning brightness.

No more will the sun give you day light,*
nor moonlight shine upon you;
but God will be your everlasting light,*
    your God will be your glory.
Your sun shall no more go down,
    or your moon withdraw itself;*
for God will be your everlasting light.

— Isaiah 60:1-3; 19-20, adapted from The Song of the New Jerusalem, from A Way of Living: A Worship, Prayer and Liturgy Resource for the Lindisfarne Community, Jane Hall Fitz-Gibbon and Andrew Fitz-Gibbon. Copyright © 2006, Jane Hall Fitz-Gibbon and Andrew Fitz-Gibbon.

Glory be to God, the Three-in-One, the One-in-Three;*
one holy and blessed Trinity, now and for ever. AMEN.

Prayers

Prayers of Intercession

  • The members of your local congregation/grove/coven
  • Those who suffer, those who are sick, and those in trouble
  • The concerns of your local community
  • The world, its people, and its leaders
  • The universal Church, its leaders, its members, and its mission
  • Those who have died
  • Any other concerns or thanksgivings

Collect

Great Light, we are very aware of the darkness of this season, but we are also aware that the natural light will increase from here on. Help us walk in your ways so that we can play our part in righteous living, as you work within us to increase the light to its full brightness. We ask this in the name of our Saviour, Jesu, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.

–adapted from The Celtic Year: A Rhythm of Prayer and Meditation for the Eight Points of the Celtic Year, David Cole, Text Copyright © 2020. The Bible Reading Fellowship

The Prayer that Jesu Taught

Our Father, Who art in Heaven,
hallowed be Thy name;
Thy Kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Amen.

Leave-Taking

Blessing

May the evergreen trees remind us that, even in the darkest and most desolate of times, the new dawn is just over the horizon.

May the prickly holly with its red berries remind us of the fire of the Sun.

May the curling, twisting ivy remind remind us that we need each other for support and companionship.

May the mistletoe that hangs between heaven and earth, deriving strength from both, remind us to plant good seeds and bear good fruit in the coming year.

With Mary, our Mother, may we be willing to bring God into our world.

+++ In the name of God, Eternal Spirit, our Maker, Jesu, the Christ and bearer of our humanity, and the Holy Spirit, font of wisdom and inspiration. AMEN.

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