Celtic Mass

We celebrated Celtic mass as part of the Saint Columba Festival here at Saint Columba's Centre, Woking, UK. This put up a marker. Iona Community Communion services have a Presbyerian link; those of The Community of Aidan and Hilda draw from contemporary Celtic worship material: Fr. Owen Murphy, Director of Saint Columba's, and the remaining sisters here, have linked their Celtic Mass to ancient texts. Most surviving eucharistic texts are Romanised, from the eight century reform movement Celi Dei, but they do retain an Irish dimension. Canon Brendan O'Malley has identified and catalogued these in his 'A Celtic Worship Primer' (Canterbury/Moorhouse) which contains a CD rom. Father Owen has combined these with other sources and published a splendid booklet. For those with more traditionalist catholic backgrounds this may fill a useful gap.

However,these words, to be said when bread is broken, are utterly contemporary and beautiful. Owen adapted them from Donald Reeves:

We break this bread for those who hunger for God For those who follow the path of Buddha and worship the God of Hindus For our sisters and brothers in Islam And or the Jewish people from whom we come. We pray that as grain scattered in many fields has become one in this bread, so one day we may be as one.

We break this bread for the great green earth We call to mind the forests, wildlife, fields and flowers which we are destroying, That one day, with the original blessing, God's creation will be restored.

We break this bread for those who have no bread, The starving, the homeless and refugees, that one day this planet may be a home for everyone.

We break this bread for the broken parts of ourselves, The wounded child in all of us, for our broken relationships, that one day we may glimpse the wholeness that is of Christ. Donald Reeves, adapted by Owen Murphy.

Posted at 08:55am on 5th June 2011
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