A Service for St Brigit

St Brigit’s feast day is on Feb 1. We will be having a communion service in The Virtual Chapel to celebrate the Sunday beforehand, on January 29, 2023. We will gather between 2-2:15 pm eastern time, follow the liturgy in this article, and then have time for fellowship afterwards. Everyone is welcome to join, we love to see new faces, and there is no need to register ahead of time. We ask that you bring your own wine/juice and bread.

You can get into the zoom room and learn more about our community and what we do by clicking HERE. I have written two articles about Brigit which you can find HERE and HERE. St Brigit’s day coincides with the Celtic festival of Imbolc, which you can read about HERE. The readings in the liturgy below come from the Celtic tradition and the source of each one is named in brackets.


Officiant

Let us come together in the name of the Holy Trinity. O Lord, May our prayers ascend to your throne of brightness and let our prayers not return to us empty. Amen

Reader 1 (Ultan’s Hymn)

Brigit, the woman who always excels
	Golden one, O radiant flame
Lead us into the eternal kingdom
	Lead us into the brilliant and dazzling sun

May Brigit guide us away from the demons
	May she shield us from every plague
May she liberate us from the bonds of the flesh
	The blossoming branch, the mother of Jesus

The true virgin who is easy to love and honour
	The saint of Leinster who keeps me safe forever
A pillar of the land alongside Patrick
	The heavenly adornment of the royal queen

May our old bodies be in sackcloth
	May Brigit’s grace fall upon us like rain
To Brigit we pray, by the praise of Christ
	That we may be worthy of the heavenly kingdom

Light the Candle

Everyone (Excerpt from Old Irish Prayer for Tears)

God give me tears to erase my sins
       Let them come until I have been purified
Let my heart burn with redemption’s flame
       Give me clear tears for Mary and Ita

Reader 2 (Old Irish Prayer to Mary)

Gentle Mary, noble maiden, give us help
You are the shrine of our Lord's body
You are the jewel box of mysteries
Queen of queens, pure holy maiden

Pray for us that our many transgressions
May be forgiven for your sake
O merciful one, O forgiving one
With the grace of the Holy Spirit

Pray with us to our king the fair judge 
King of the good and fragrant clan
The fair branch of Jesse's tree 
In the beautiful hazel wood

Pray for us until we obtain 
Forgiveness of our many sins
Mary, splendid royal crown 
The one who saved our race

You are a glorious noble torch
You are the orchard of Kings
The brilliant one, the resplendent one
Who lived in pure chastity

O fair golden illumined ark
O holy daughter from Heaven
O mother of righteousness
You surpass everyone else

Pray with us to your firstborn 
To save us on the day of doom
O noble rare star, O blossoming tree
O powerful and precious lamp

O sun that warms everyone
O ladder of the great path
By which every saint ascends
May you be our safeguard 
Towards the glorious Kingdom

The noble guest was in your womb 
For three times three months
Fair fragrant seat chosen by the King
Glorious royal porch through which he was incarnated
The splendid and chosen sun
Jesus, Son of the living God

For the sake of the fair babe 
That was conceived in your womb
For the sake of the holy child 
That is High King in every place

For the sake of his cross 
That is higher than any cross
For the sake of his burial 
When he was buried in a stone tomb

For the sake of his resurrection 
When he arose before everyone
For the sake of the holy household 
From every place until doom

O Mother Mary be our safeguard 
In the Kingdom of the Good Lord
That we may meet with dear Jesus	
That is our prayer
Hail Mary full of grace

Light the Incense


Everyone: We say the prayer three times in the depths of our hearts, breathing in the first line and out the second.

May Christ dwell in my heart through faith
       As I am being rooted and grounded in love

Reader 3 (Carmina Gadelica)

The genealogy of the holy maiden Bride
Radiant flame of gold
Noble foster-mother of Christ
Bride the daughter of Dugall the brown

Son of Aodh, son of Art, son of Conn
Son of Crearar, son of Cis, son of Carina, son of Carruin
Every day and every night
That I say the genealogy of Bride

I shall not be killed, I shall not be harried
I shall not be put in a cell
I shall not be wounded
Neither shall Christ leave me in forgetfulness

No fire, no sun, no moon shall burn me
No lake, no water, nor sea shall drown me
No arrow of fairy nor dart of fay shall wound me
And I under the protection of my Holy Mary
And my gentle foster-mother is my beloved Bride

Officiant (Inspired by Carmina Gadelica and Pelagius)

Brigit of Kildare, beloved of poets, bishop of the universal church, be with us here today. Inspire in us the gift of poetry, that our songs may carry whispers of God and the power of healing. Let us become pregnant with poetry so that we may give birth to beauty. We bring our offerings to the wellspring of inspiration, dance sunwise round it, and sing,

I am under the shielding 
       Of good Brigit each day
I am under the shielding
       Of good Brigit each day

I am under the keeping 
        Of the nurse of Mary
Brigit is my heart’s companion
        Brigit is my maker of song

Brigit the abbess, whose birth and ordination were blessed by holy pillars of fire, your primary concern was always to provide for the orderly direction of souls. You taught us that a person without an anamchara is like a body without a head. May we find such a friend, one who will help to light a fire within us, so that we may burn with desire for a holy life. 

This fire will be kindled with the remembrance of what human nature is capable of achieving, and the logs which sustain it will be the virtues which we embody. We must first be taught about the power and quality of human nature in case we have falsely assumed that we are incapable of virtue. We can never begin to walk the path of holiness unless we have hope as our guide and companion. Virtue will forever be beyond our reach if all of our efforts are thwarted by our own despair of finding it. Saint Brigit, who brings mercy and abundance everywhere she goes, pray with us to God that we may kindle such a fire. Give us a share in your orderly direction, that we may serve the poor and needy as you did. Amen

5 min silence while everyone prepares their bread and wine

Officiant

When his time was coming near, Jesus took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves, for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

Everyone

Loving Mother God, from whom all things come and to whom all things will return, bless this bread and wine that it may be for us a Celestial Medicine. Open our eyes that we may see these simple elements for what they truly are – the body and blood of Christ. May we rejoice in the gift of our own embodiment through the grace of your embodiment in this simple food and drink. As we take the body of Christ into our own bodies, may the sacred harmony of the angel song fill our hearts and minds and may we be united with your Son, who is beyond all nature and yet is the substance of all nature. Amen

Officiant

May the mixture of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ be salvation for us unto everlasting life. Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.

Everyone takes communion while the officiant chants/reads (Stowe Missal)

They knew the Lord, alleluia
       In the breaking of bread, alleluia
The bread that we break, alleluia
       Is the body of our Lord Jesus Christ, alleluia
The cup which we bless, alleluia
        Is the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, alleluia

For the forgiveness of our sins, alleluia
       May your mercy be upon us, O Lord, alleluia
For we have hoped in you, alleluia
        They knew the Lord, alleluia

We believe, O Lord
       We believe that in this breaking of the body
And the shedding of blood
       That we are redeemed
And we trust that by receiving 
       This sacrament we will be strengthened 

So that what we hold at present 
       In faith we will come to enjoy
 In true heavenly fruitfulness 
       Through Christ our Lord

May our prayer ascend, alleluia
       To your throne of brightness, Lord, alleluia
And let our prayer, alleluia
       Not return to us empty amen

5 min silence

Reader 4 (Magnificat – the song of Mary)

My soul magnifies the Lord
And my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour
For he has looked with favour on the lowly state of his servant
Surely from now on all generations will call me blessed

For the Mighty One has done great things for me
And holy is his name
Indeed, his mercy is for those who fear him
From generation to generation

He has shown strength with his arm
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones
And lifted up the lowly
He has filled the hungry with good things
And sent the rich away empty

He has come to the aid of his child Israel
In remembrance of his mercy
According to the promise he made to our ancestors
To Abraham and to his descendants forever

Reader 5 (Stowe Missal)

Grant, O Lord
That those whom you have filled 
With your heavenly gift 
May be freed from hidden faults 
And delivered from the snares of our enemies

We give you thanks, Lord, holy Father
Almighty and eternal God
Who has fed us with the communion 
Of the body and blood of Christ, your Son 

We humbly ask your mercy, Lord
That this your sacrament 
Should not be for us a crime for punishment
But instead a prayer of salvation

That it should be for forgiveness 
That it should be a washing away of sins 
That it should be strength for the weak 
That it should be a protection against the dangers of the world  

May this, our communion 
Cleanse us of sin
And make us sharers in the joys of heaven 
Through Christ, Our Lord

Officiant

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your holy desire be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. The mass is completed. Go in peace.


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