24th Annual Celtic Retreat Afternoon Litany

by Christine Sine

CelticRetreat_69Lord today has shown us
That you are able to transform all things.
Wholeness emerges from brokenness,
Painful endings give rise to new beginnings,
Life is born out of death.
Lord you are the way, the truth and the life,
From brokenness you bring wholeness,
From painful endings you bring new beginnings,
From death you give birth to life.
Our hope is in you who transforms all things.

This morning we placed objects on the altar as symbols of God’s desire for reconciliation and ability to transform brokenness into wholeness. Our day has taught us new things about reconciliation and renewal. It has given us new companions, stirred within us a sense of the journey of reconciliation God calls us to. What are the new things you take with you today as preparation for the journey ahead?

(Pause for a time of sharing)

Children share and present their gifts

Adults share the gifts they want to bring to this final celebration feast.

God as we stand in this place of hope, looking forward to renewal and transformation we pray together with Columba:

Lord of our hearts, give us vision to inspire us,
that, working or resting, we may always think of you.
Lord of our hearts, give us light to guide us,
that at home or abroad, we may always walk in your way.

Lord of our hearts, give us wisdom to direct us,
that, thinking or acting, we may always discern right from wrong.
Lord of our hearts give us courage to strengthen us,
that amongst friends or enemies, we may always proclaim your justice.

Lord of our hearts, save us from empty praise,
that we may always boast of you.
Lord of our hearts, save us from military prowess,
that we may always seek your protection.

Lord of our hearts, save us from vain knowledge,
that we may always study your word.
Lord of our hearts, save us from unnatural pleasures,
that we may always find joy in your wonderful creation.

Lord of our own hearts, whatever may befall us,
rule over our thoughts and feelings, our words and actions.

Song – Be Thou My Vision


The Eucharist – The Great Thanksgiving

Now as we come to the communion table, let us welcome, as Columba did, all the ones God sends to feast with us. This table is for all those who love Christ and want to love him more. It is for those who have tried to follow, those who have failed and those who have never followed. Let us come remembering those desperate for God’s forgiveness and reconciliation, those who have hurt us, the marginalized, the sick and the abandoned. At this table we all meet together to enjoy this foretaste of God’s eternal banquet feast.

God, thank you for your spirit breaking down barriers within and without,
Barriers that distort our ability to lead a life fully integrated with you and your ways,
Forgive us for the times we have deliberately resisted the Spirit’s work.
Life giving spirit, God’s advocate and guide, have mercy on us.
Forgive us God, for the barriers we create within ourselves,
Barriers that resist your healing work and prevent us moving toward wholeness,
Forgive our self-centerdness, our anger, our fear of change, our lack of trust in your love.
Life giving spirit, God’s advocate and guide, have mercy on us.
Forgive us God, for the barriers we create between us and you,
Barriers that separate us from your love and the assurance of your salvation.
Forgive our busyness, our independence, our desire to go our own way.
Life giving spirit, God’s advocate and guide, have mercy on us.
Forgive us God, for the barriers we create between us and each other, Barriers that separate us from neighbours near and far and inhibit mutual love and care.
Forgive our resentment of others, our love of control, our indifference to the poor.
Life giving spirit, God’s advocate and guide, have mercy on us.
Forgive us God, for the barriers we create between us and your beautiful creation,
Barriers that abuse your world and deny our responsibility as stewards.
Forgive our greed, our misuse of resources, our pollution of the environment.
Life giving spirit, God’s advocate and guide, have mercy on us.
God, by the power of your spirit, free us and break down these barriers.
Turn us away from the bondage of a life lived for ourselves and our own desires,
May your spirit guide us into the freedom of life lived for you and your purposes.
Life giving spirit, God’s advocate and guide, have mercy on us.

An Affirmation of Faith

We believe and trust in God our creator,
Who made us to be neighbours together,
Reconciled with brothers and sisters from every nation and culture.
We believe and trust in Christ our redeemer,
Who saves us from self-centeredness and isolation,
To be joined together as parts of one body,
That loves and cares for each other.
We believe and trust in the Holy Spirit our enabler,
Who restores us to be one family,
With the rich, the poor, the disabled and the whole.
With the young, the old, the oppressed and despised.
We believe and trust in God,
Who welcomes us home into the eternal world,
Where justice and love will reign forever.
We believe and trust in God’s new world coming,
Where one day together with sisters and brothers from all nations,
We will be healed and made whole to become all that God intends us to be.

Let us gather around the table with God’s gifts of bread and wine.

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 echoes through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the earth!
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, 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 forever. Amen.

Forgiving and redeeming God, through your goodness we have this bread and wine to offer. It is given from the earth, a symbol of your hospitality. It was made by human hands to be shared as Columba did, with love and generosity. In this we are reminded of and celebrate together the life that Jesus shared among his community throughout the centuries and shares with us today.

Living among us, Jesus loved us. He broke bread and shared hospitality with outcasts and sinners, healed the sick and proclaimed good news to the poor. He yearned to draw all the world to himself yet we were heedless of his call to walk in love and forgiveness.

On the night before he died Jesus shared a meal with his friends. He took bread, gave thanks to God, broke it and gave it to them saying: Take, eat, this is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.

As supper was ending, Jesus took the cup of wine. Again he gave thanks to God, gave it to them, and said: Drink this, all of you. This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for you and for all for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.

Now gathered at your table, O God of all creation, and remembering Christ crucified and risen, who was and is and is to come, we offer to you our gifts of bread and wine, and ourselves, a living sacrifice.

Pour out your Spirit upon these gifts, that they may be the body and blood of Christ. Breathe your Spirit over the whole earth and make us your new creation, the body of Christ given for the world you have made.

In the fullness of time bring us, Columba, Brigit and all your saints from every tribe and language and people and nation, to feast at the banquet prepared from the foundation of the world.

Through Christ and with Christ and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, to you be honor, glory and praise, for ever and ever. Amen.

Alleluia, We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.
We who are many are one body, for we all share in the one bread. Alleluia.

The Invitation

Draw near and receive the body and blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ in remembrance that he died for us. Let us feed on him in our hearts by faith with thanksgiving.
All are welcome at the Lord’s Table to receive holy communion. Children are welcome at parental discretion. Receive the consecrated bread in the open palm of your hand and assist the chalice bearer by guiding the cup to your lips, or if you prefer dip the bread into the cup and then eat it.

Post Communion Prayer

Gracious God in the bread and the wine
we have been given a foretaste of your eternal banquet.
We have seen the power of your forgiveness,
Experienced the wonder of your redemption,
And been nourished by faith, hope and love,
Send us out in the power of your Spirit,
to live and work to your praise and glory.
We ask this in Jesus’ name

The Blessing

As Columba lay dying in the community of Iona he wrote the following prayer:

See that you be at peace among yourselves, my children, and love one another.
Follow the example of good men of old, and God will comfort you and help you,
both in this world and in the world which is to come.

Let us go from this place determined to follow the example that Columba and so many others of God’s saints throughout the ages have set for us:

Let us go in the reconciling spirit of Columba.
May the fire of God’s love
burn brightly and steadfastly in our hearts.
May Christ be like a bright flame before us,
A guiding star above us,
a smooth path beneath us.
And a kindly shepherd behind us,
Today and forever more.

Eucharist to end with


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