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.
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
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.”
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
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
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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