Celebrating St. Brigid


A Liturgy for Imbolc

, , ,

Preparation

Set up a small table in the center of your space facing East. If you like, set up four smaller tables (plant stands or other flat surfaces at each of the four directions. Otherwise, the main table can be used alone.

You will need seven candles: yellow, red, blue, green, orange, purple, and white. I use white or ivory votive candles in colored holders. Place the yellow, red, blue, and green candles in the East, South, West, and North, respectively. The others go on the main altar, white in the center, orange on the left, and purple on the right. You can also add seasonal decorations (flowers, statues or images, etc.) as you like. (You can place all the candles in their respective places on the main table, if that works better for you.)

When you are ready, take a moment to quiet and center yourself.

Approach

In the name of God, the Three-in-One, the One-in-Three,
One holy and blessed Trinity,
Now and ever and unto Ages of Ages.
Amen.

Prayer 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 with the greater circle of all creation may I radiate peace.
Through the Strength of Heaven,
Light of Sun,
Radiance of Moon, 
Splendor of Fire,
Speed of Lightning,
Swiftness of Wind, 
Depth of Sea,
Stability of Earth,
and Firmness of Rock,
May there be peace in the North and in the South,
May there be peace in the West and in the East,
May there be peace in the Land, the Sea, and the Sky,
May there be peace throughout the world.

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 the Love of Justice, the Love of All Existences,
And in that Love, the Love of God, our Maker,
Mary, our Mother,
All the Angels and Saints,
All Creation that nourishes and sustains us,
And all Goodness.
Amen.

— adapted from The Druid’s Prayer, attributed to Iolo Morganwg

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful,
And kindle in us the fire of your love.
O God, send out your Spirit
and renew the face of the earth.

Greeting the Four Directions

All praise and honor are yours, O God.
Angels and Archangels sing your praise,
And all creation proclaims 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 clean, pure air
We turn to the East, toward the rising Sun, 
And we ask Brigid, muse of poets, to pray for us, 
that we may find wisdom and inspiration. 
With the great Stag in the heat of the chase,
We turn to the South, toward the FIRE of the noonday Sun,
And we ask St. Brigid, forger of metal, to pray for us, 
that we may find passion and courage. 
With the Salmon of Wisdom,
Dwelling in the WATERS of the sacred pool,
We turn to the WEST, toward the setting Sun, 
And we ask St. Brigid, healing presence, to pray for us, 
That we may find healing of body, soul, and spirit, that we may learn compassion and love.  
With the great Bear of the starry heavens,
And the deep and fruitful EARTH,
We turn to the NORTH, toward the midnight sky,
And we ask St. Brigid, abundant in generosity, to pray for us,
That we may find strength for the journey. 
We give honor and praise to the Most Holy Theotokos,
The Mother of Light through whom heaven is united to earth.
All creation rejoices in you, O full of grace, and we bless you.
We give honor and praise to Jesus Christ, our Lord,
the Word made flesh, God with us.
Most Holy Begotten One of God,
Receive our prayer.
All praise and honor to God, Eternal Spirit, Maker of all that is;
To Jesu, the Christ, Bearer of our humanity;
And to the Holy Spirit, Awen and Breath of life.
Now and ever and unto Ages of Ages.

AMEN.

The Word of God

Psalm 107: 35-38; 41-42

Ant: Give thanks to God, for God is good, mercy endures for ever.

God changed deserts into pools of water,*
     and dry land into water-springs.
God settled the hungry there,*
     and they founded a city to	dwell in.
They sowed	fields, and planted vineyards,*
     and brought in a fruitful harvest.
GOD blessed them, so that they increased greatly;	*
     GOD did not let their herds decrease.
GOD lifted up the poor out of misery*
     and multiplied their families like flocks of sheep.
The upright will see this and rejoice,*
     but all wickedness will shut its mouth.

Glory to God our Maker, and to Jesu the Christ, and to the Holy Spirit;*
     now and ever and unto Ages of Ages. Amen.

Ant: Give thanks to God, for God is good, whose mercy endures for ever.

First Reading

Job 31: 16-20; 24-25; 31-32

16 If I have denied anything to the poor,
or allowed the widow or widower's eyes to fail,
17 or ate my meal in peace
while the orphan went without-
18 if I didn't act like a parent to them from my youth,
like a benefactor, almost from my infancy;
19 or if I have let anyone freeze for lack of clothing,
or ignored a homeless person-
20 if their bodies didn't bless me wholeheartedly
as they felt the warmth of my wool clothing;

24 If I had made a pact with gold,
or made the finest gold my security;
25 if I had gloated over the value of my wealth,
or the abundance my hands managed to acquire;

31 Haven't the members of my household said of me,
"Is there anyone who hasn't eaten your food?"
32 I've always taken in wayfarers for a night
rather than make them spend the night in the open.
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

Gospel

Luke 6:32-38

31 “Do to others what you would have them do to you. 32 If
you love those who love you, what credit does that do you?
Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. 33 If you do good
only to those who do good to you, what credit does that do
you? Even ‘sinners’ do as much. 34 If you lend to those you
expect to repay you, what credit does that do you? Even ‘sin-
ners’ lend to other ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full.
35 Love your enemies and do good to them. Lend without
expecting repayment, and your reward will be great. You’ll
rightly be called children of the Most High, since God is
good even to the ungrateful and the wicked.
36 “Be compassionate, as your loving God is compassionate.
37 Don’t judge, and you won’t be judged. Don’t condemn, and
you won’t be condemned. Pardon, and you’ll be pardoned.
38 Give, and it will be given to you: a full measure-packed
down, shaken together and running over-will be poured
into your lap. For the amount you measure out is the amount
you’ll be given back.”

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

Meditation

Take a few moments to reflect on the readings and the story of Brigid, focusing on the ideas of love, compassion, and generosity. How has God shown these to you? How often have been the recipient of compassion and/or generosity from others? How can you become more compassionate, generous, and loving?

Canticle: A Song of God’s Love

1 John 4:7-11

Beloved, let us love one another*
     because love is of God;
everyone who loves is begotten of God*
     and has knowledge of God.
Those who do not love have known nothing of God,
      for God is love.
God's love was revealed in our midst in this way:*
     by sending the Only Begotten into the world,
          that we might have faith through the Anointed One.
Love, then, consists in this: not that we have loved God, but that God has loved us*
     and has sent the Only Begotten to be an offering for our sins.
Beloved, if God has loved us so,*
     we must have the same love for one another.
... Yet if we love one another, God dwells in us,*
     and God's love is brought to perfection in us.

Glory to God our Maker, and to Jesu the Christ, and to the Holy Spirit;*
     now and ever and unto Ages of Ages. Amen.

Prayer

Loving and gracious God, you challenge us through Brigid to keep alight the fire of your compassion in our world today. Give us the will to help those in need, to turn away from selfish ambition to devote ourselves to you. Give us the courage, if necessary, to break with existing tradition in order to do your will, so that others may come to know the love of Jesu through us. Amen.

— adapted from the Northumbria Community St. Brigid page

If you wish to celebrate the Eucharist, stop here and use the Eucharistic liturgy, starting with the Creed. Otherwise continue with the following.

Prayers

Intercessions

Help us, O God our Savior; Deliver us and forgive us our sins. 

Look upon your congregation; Give to your people the blessing of peace. 

Declare your glory among the nations; And your wonders among all peoples. 

Do not let the oppressed be shamed and turned away; Never forget the lives of your poor. 

Continue your loving-kindness to those who know you; And your favor to those who are true of heart. 

Satisfy us by your loving-kindness in the morning; So shall we rejoice and be glad all the days of our life.
  • The members of this group
  • Those who suffer and those in trouble
  • The concerns of the local community
  • The world, its people, its leaders
  • The Church, its members, ministers, those in formation for ministry, and those charged with guidance and leadership
  • Those who have died
  • Any other prayers you hold in your heart.

Collect for the Feast of St. Brigid

Merciful God,
origin and reward of all charity,
you called Saint Brigid to teach the new commandment of love
through her life of hospitality and her care of the needy;
give to your people, by her intercession,
a generous spirit,
so that, with hearts made pure,
we may show your love to all.
Through Jesus Christ, our Savior,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Prayer of Jesus

from the New Zealand Prayer Book

Eternal Spirit, Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth.
With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love,
now and for ever.
Amen.

Leave-taking

The Oath of Peace

We swear by peace and love to stand 
Heart to heart, and hand in hand. 
Mark, O Spirit, and hear us now. 
Confirming this, our sacred vow. 

Final Blessing

Christ, as a light illumine and guide me. 
Christ, as a shield overshadow me. 
Christ under me; Christ over me; 
Christ beside me on my left and my right. 
This day be within and without me, 
lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. 
Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; 
in the mouth of each who speaks unto me. 
This day be within and without me, 
lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. 
Christ as a light; 
Christ as a shield; 
Christ beside me on my left and my right. 
— Adapted from St. Patrick’s Breastplate, Northumbria Community 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.