A Service for Beltane

We will be having an online communion service for Beltane on April 30, 2023. It is open for anyone and everyone to participate. We ask that you bring your own wine/juice and bread/crackers. The Chapel zoom room will be open at 2 pm est for fellowship and the service will begin at 2:15. The readings and prayers in this liturgy are a mixture of ancient and modern sources creatively woven together into a new synthesis. Many of the texts are medieval texts which would not have originally been used in a liturgical setting. You can get onto zoom by clicking HERE. You can read more about some of the ways people honour Beltane by clicking HERE. Looking forward to seeing many of you there!


The Lord is king; let the peoples tremble! He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake! The Lord is great in Zion; he is exalted over all the peoples. Let them praise your great and awesome name. Holy is he! Mighty King, lover of justice, you have established equity; you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob. Extol the Lord our God; worship at his footstool. Holy is he!

Light the candle


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 1

Based on the Food of the Soul and Isaiah 6

The prophet Isaiah saw the Lord on a throne
	He was so high and lofty that
The hem of his robe filled the temple
	And he was attended to by angels

The angels were the seraphim
	Each one had six wings
Two wings covered their face
	Two wings covered their feet

With the remaining two wings
	The angels flew up towards the Lord
And sang to one another a song of praise
	As the temple filled with smoke

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
        the whole earth is full of his glory”
Then the angels brought Isaiah a live coal
	Which had been taken from the altar

The angel touched his lips with the fiery coal
	And then spoke to him saying
“Now that this has touched your lips, 
        your guilt has departed and your sin is erased”

The fire of the angels healed his sin
	And freed Isaiah to follow his Lord
To speak to the people with clean lips
	And to revive the love of God in their hearts

The countless seraphim are an abundance
	Of the affectionate love of God
They excel beyond all the other angelic orders
	Their name means kindling-fire

Between the Seraphim and God
	There are no other orders of angels
The nearer to God any creature is
	The greater the burning light of the fire of love

The Seraphim fill our hearts with fire
	So that they burn with affectionate love
Which enables us to forgive all things
	Those who love the most are closest to God

It is through this fire of love
	That human beings are united to God
Just as God is life to the soul
	Her love is the food of the soul

Just as the soul leaves the body
	When the body starves without nourishment
In the same way God departs from the soul
	When the soul does not receive nourishment

The food our soul requires to live
	Is divine, sweet, and worthy love
Without love our souls perish
	And God no longer dwells within us

May the Holy Spirit gant us that perfect love
        The one who conveys affection between 
The Mother and the Son in the Trinity
	And who dwells in unity with them forever

Reader 2

A modern litany inspired by the Food of the Soul and the Stowe Missal

O God come to my assistance
       O Lord make haste to help me
O God come to my assistance
       O Lord make haste to help me
O God come to my assistance
       O Lord make haste to help me

Heavenly Mother, Lord of Hosts
	Hear the prayers of your people
We lift up our voices to your throne
	Around which the angels are found

Have mercy upon us, we pray
	That we may in turn have mercy on others
Cleanse the eyes of our hearts
	So that we may commune with the angels

The name angel means messenger
       Because they distribute the will of God
The scriptures teach that there are nine orders
	Which we may participate in through the virtues

We lift up our minds to the angelic hosts
	Joining the meditations of our hearts
With the eternal beauty of their creative song
	Beseeching their assistance in divine things

Michael, power of God, pray for us
       Gabriel, strength of God, pray for us
Raphael, remedy of God, pray for us
	The nine orders of heaven, pray for us

O Angels, pray for us
	O Archangels, pray for us
O Thrones pray for us
	That we may be made pure of heart

O Lordships, pray for us
	O Principalities, pray for us
O Dominions, pray for us
	That we may be illumined with divine light

O Powers, pray for us
	O Cherubim, pray for us
O Seraphim, pray for us
	That we may be united with God

Blessed Cherubim, high authorities of the angels
	Angels of miracles, angels of wonders
You are the diversity and abundance of knowledge
	You are the forms of every skillful art

May we participate in your order of wisdom
	So that we may be filled with heavenly knowledge
And the spiritual skills which allow us
	To know the Trinity through the fire of love

We draw a circle in this place
	For the nine orders of angels
In the highest order is the Son of God alone
	Joyfully embracing the faithful who come to him

Lord of all Heaven and Earth
	Who created the celestial hierarchy
By whom all of the cosmos is orchestrated
	Through whom we are lifted up towards the One

Forgive us our many sins
	Enlighten our inner eyes 
Permit us to be one with you
	In the name of Christ our Lord

Have mercy upon us, we pray
        O Christ hear our words
O Christ hear our words
        O Christ hear our words

Lighting of the incense


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

An Old Irish litany

Lord God of Heaven and Earth
	We beseech you by the tenth order
Which is the community of believers now living
        The saints who walk upon the ground

We beseech Michael to assist us against the demons
	We beseech you in unison with Michael
By the power of the land and the sea
	Without ceasing for all our days

We beseech you with respect by the goodness of God
	We beseech you, O Lord, by your suffering body
Which fasted in the form of white martyrdom
	We beseech you by the contemplative life

We beseech you by the active life
	We beseech the inhabitants of heaven
Along with Michael, for the sake of our souls
	We beseech the saints of the world to assist us

We beseech the inhabitants of Heaven
	With Michael of the bright arm
We beseech the triad of wind, sun, and moon
	We beseech you by ocean waves and fierce winds

We beseech you by fire
        We beseech you by earth
We beseech you by the four corners of the world
	And by the compass of the harmony of the stars

We beseech the nine orders of Heaven
	Who are the stars of the night sky
We beseech all the mysteries therein
	We beseech all the glories of Michael

We beseech you every creature which has lived
	And which has tasted the sting of death
We beseech you by every creature which is inanimate
	Because of the beauty and love of your mystery

We beseech you by your divine love 
        Which is deeper than the sea
We beseech you according to your own nature
	O king of the fierce sun

In the name of every saint of the faith
	Every saint that is, was, and shall be
Every holy monk who does not deceive
	With the help of fair Michael the guardian

May the hosts of heaven help us
	We beseech you Mother, we beseech you
We beseech you by the power of time
	With its clear divisions of past, present, and future

We beseech you by darkness
	We beseech you by light
We beseech you all the elements in heaven and earth
	That our souls may receive the eternal sweetness

By your infinite mercy and power over battles
	By your kindness to debtors
O swift and mighty king of heaven
	Help us to be freed from every conflict
We beseech you, Mother, we beseech you

Reader 4

Based on the writing of Aelred of Rievaulx

What plot of land or what stream
        Turns up only one stone of a single kind? 
What forest produces only 
        One tree of a single species? 

In this we can see the love of companionship
	Coming to light among creatures without sense
Since none of them are left alone
	But each exists in a society of its own

If this is true among rocks and trees
	How much more true it must be 
Among the society of animal kind
	Who are an image of loving friendship

Though animals do not have reason
	In regards to friendship and loving society
They imitate the human spirit in such a way
	That they appear to be rational beings

They naturally follow the leader
	And enjoy each other’s company
Frolicing together in their wilderness homes
	Expressing their love through sounds and actions

Angels also live in a society
	Ordained for them by divine wisdom
Among the nine orders of angels
	There is a tender love of friendship

This friendship creates a harmony of will
	Preventing any envy from taking root
The higher orders would seem to be more valuable 
	If this danger was not countered by friendship
Thus there is an entire host of angels
	To keep away all hints of loneliness
With a heavenly communion of charity
	Multiplying the joy of the heavenly orders

When God created the first human being
	She made a second person like the first
In order to show us the blessing of friendship
	Which can be found in all of creation

Divine power created Eve out of Adam
	In order to inspire friendship between them
In a beautiful way the second human was created
	From the side of the first human

So that our nature might teach us the truth
	That all people are equal to one another
Among human beings no one is superior 
	Because this is a property of friendship 


Inspired by Dionyius’ Divine Names and Carmina Gadelica

Hail Mary, crowned with flowers! 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. Show us the way to the ladder of the great path, the same ladder which Jacob saw, upon which angels ascend and descend between heaven and earth. Open this path to us so that we may see across the veil which separates heaven and earth. Open our eyes so that we may see the Kingdom of Heaven in our midst. 

Angels are divine intelligences which move in a spiral. First, they dance in a circle, at one with the illuminations given forth, without beginning or end, from the Good and the Beautiful. They also move in a straight line, guided by providence, so that they can offer perfect wisdom to those beneath them. And yet, they continue to remain completely themselves, dancing without end around the Beautiful and the Good, from which all identity arises. May we proceed alone to commune with the angels like David. May we be comforted by the company and conversation of angels like Cuthbert. May we experience the apparitions of the angels directly and fully like Columcille. May the holy angels, belonging to the nine orders of heaven, guard us and keep us safe.

Holy Mary, friend of Gabriel, bless our flocks and cattle, do not let hate or injury come near us, and drive the ways of the wicked far from us. The strength of the Triune be our shield in distress. The strength of Christ – his peace and his passion. The strength of the Spirit – physician of health. The strength of the precious Father – king of grace. Bless ourselves and our children. Bless everyone who shall come from our loins and bless the womb from which we came. May every holiness, blessing, and power be yielded to us every time and every hour. In the name of the Threefold above, Mother, Son, and Spirit everlasting. Be the cross of Christ to shield us downward. Be the cross of Christ to shield us upward. Be the cross of Christ to shield us roundward. Accepting our Beltane blessing from us. Accepting our Beltane blessing from us.

Reader 5

Based on the writings of Colum Cille

The heavenly planter of the original seeds
	The ancient of days who was never born
Had no beginning and no end
	And exists outside of all time eternally

Christ, the only begotten one, is with him
	So is the co-eternal Holy Spirit
Together in the unending light of God
	The Holy Trinity - Three in One

He created the blessed angels and archangels
	As part of the nine heavenly orders
He created them so that the goodness and power
        Of the gifts of the Trinity could be expressed

The Most High God looked forward
	Towards the unfolding harmony of the universe
He created the Heaven and the Earth
	Then he poured forth the waters of the sea

He made the leaves of grass underfoot
        He created the trees of the forest
He made the sun, moon, stars, and fire
	Birds, fish, cattle, beasts, and all living things
He created all things which are needed
        Then, when he had finished his work
He made the original human being 
        In order to rule it with knowledge

God planted a paradise with beautiful rivers
	Among its flowers can be found the tree of life
The leaves of this tree never fall and they heal the nations
	The loveliness of the garden is beyond any description

The stars and other lights of heaven
	Were created all together at once
When they saw the beautiful and expansive creation
	The angels burst forth in praise of its architect

They sang a song of thanksgiving
	Which never wavered in its beauty and power
They did not sing this harmony out of obligation
	It sprang forth freely from their love

When Christ returns, the Trinity will be praised
	With the prayerful singing of hymns
There will be thousands of angels dancing
	With four living creatures full of eyes

There will be twenty four happy elders
	Who will reject their worldly crowns
Throwing them at the feet of the Lamb of God
	And they will sing Holy! Holy! Holy!

Everyone prepares their bread and wine


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.” And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”


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


A chant from the 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 of silence


A payer from the Stowe Missal

Lord God Almighty, you test your servants by measure, but glorify them beyond measure; your commands are finite but your rewards are infinite: hear our prayers through the witness and merits of the saints, and grant that their patronage may aid us to a growth in faith and the fruit of good works, to the goodness of joy, to the reward of health, to religious devotion, to growth in holy fear. May the holy martyrs pray for us, and for our dead, and for our flocks, and for all the fruits of our land, and for all those dwelling in this place. All the innumerable multitude of your saints and the choirs of angels praise you, the Almighty, the God of the creatures of heaven and earth, through our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom all the angels and archangels, prophets and apostles, martyrs, confessors, holy women, and all the saints, in a perpetual hymn and with ceaseless praises, with the four animals and the twenty-four elders sing together, saying Holy, Holy, Holy.

Reader 6

Based on Gregory of Nyssa

Sisters and brothers, lovers of peace and mercy, this is the true perfection of the human being: not to avoid evil because, like slaves, we fear punishment, nor to do good in hope of reward, as if by means of a contract we could purchase the life of virtue. On the contrary, without concern for our own hopes and worries, we consider losing God’s friendship as the only thing we fear and we consider becoming God’s friend the only object of our desire. Therefore, go out into the world with the fire of friendship kindled in your hearts. Let your peace be known to all and give mercy to everyone you encounter. Be humble. Be kind. Be courageous. Be filled with the Holy Spirit and allow the light of heaven to guide you on the path eternal, the journey into God which never ends and is always new. The mass is completed. Go in peace.

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