Celtic Retreat – Evening Liturgy

by Christine Sine

Here is the liturgy for the second session of the Celtic retreat. This was written by Ryan Marsh of Church of the Beloved. You might also like to check out the reflections that have already been written by participants following the retreat. Pinholes and Paradigms by Lisa San Martin and Where is Freedom and The Shout by Gil George.


Evening Gathering – Eucharist


Opening Responses

ONE: Peace on each one who comes in need

Peace on each one who comes in joy

TWO: Peace on each who offers prayers

Peace on each who offers song

THREE: Peace of the Maker, Peace of the Son

Peace of the Spirit, the Triune One

Song : Come Thou Fount

A New Song : Psalm 98

ONE: O sing to the Lord a new song,

for he has done marvelous things.

His right hand and his holy arm

have gotten him victory.

TWO: The Lord has made known his victory;

he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations.

He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness

to the house of Israel.

THREE: All the ends of the earth have seen

the victory of our God.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;

break forth into joyous song and sing praises.

ONE: Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre,

with the lyre and the sound of melody.

With trumpets and the sound of the horn

make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord.

TWO: Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;

the world and those who live in it.

Let the floods clap their hands;

let the hills sing together for joy

THREE: Sing in the presence of the Lord, for he is coming

to judge the earth.

He will judge the world with righteousness,

and the peoples with equity.

Set Sail: St. Brendan Meditation

ONE: St Brendan the Navigator set sail with a group of Monks from the Dingle peninsula in a small boat called a currach in search of the Isle of the Blessed. There are many spectacular myths and legends that surround their voyage. They are said to have visited the northern Isles of Scotland, the Faeroe islands, Iceland and eventually Newfoundland. Many years later they returned home with flora and fauna that was neither Irish, nor European. What we know for certain is that they drifted free at the mercy of the wind and the whim of the waves, in the will of God.

TWO: Picture yourself in the place of Brendan… staring across the ocean toward the horizon, the edge of your known world, into the unknown. Maybe there are distant lands across the sea, maybe there is nothing, only God knows! See yourself standing at the wooden jetty, in front of you a feeble looking boat, made of unseasoned wood and leather, smeared in animal grease to seal it from the waves. In the bottom of the craft there lies a roll of leather, there to patch the unavoidable leaks and tears. The boat continuously slams into the jetty bruising the leather as the swell of the great western ocean throws it around. Who knows, maybe the waves themselves are returning from those far off shores, shores which at this time are simply a glimpse of the possible, a dream of what might be out there beyond the horizon.

Deep inside you hear a call that says – “SET SAIL”,

THREE: A secret voice heard only in your heart, “SET SAIL INTO THE UNKNOWN”,

TWO: A stirring on the edge of the wind “SET SAIL INTO THE UNKNOWN, STEP OFF THE EDGE OF YOUR WORLD”,

ONE: An echo of stones dragged along the beach by the tide “SET SAIL INTO THE UNKNOWN, STEP OFF THE EDGE OF YOUR WORLD, COME WITH ME INTO MINE”

TWO: What are the moorings in your life? Not the things that frustrate you, but the things you hold on to. The comforts which you cling to, the insecurities which cloud your willingness to go into the unknown… to SET SAIL.

THREE: What are your dreams, the dreams which seem far too distant and unreachable. What are the visions you have that feel beyond your grasp, too vast? What are the big ideas which leave you stumped, no idea of how to even start. Strain for them, reach for them, go for them… SET SAIL.

TWO: What does it feel like to truly abandon the shore? To leave behind Models and Strategies, to ignore the speculation of Maps and Guides, to cut oneself adrift from techniques and practices, to place yourself beyond the horizon, no turning back? No clutching to tried and tested solutions or the words of experts, to put yourself solely in the hands of God… to SET SAIL.

ONE: Brendan put himself at the mercy of the wind, at the whim of the waves in the will of God. What would it mean to drift in the Missio Dei, the mission of God? What would it mean to go beyond the horizon of your own knowledge, experience and ideas, to put your faith in the beckoning Christ… what would it mean for you to really SET SAIL?

St. Brendan’s Prayer

TWO: Brendan left us with the prayer he prayed before setting sail. It’s a glimpse into the heart of faith.

Together, let us pray the prayer of St. Brendan,

Shall I abandon, O King of mysteries, the soft comforts of home?

Shall I turn my back on my native land,

and turn my face towards the sea?

Shall I put myself wholly at your mercy,

without silver or horse, without fame or honor?

Shall I throw myself wholly upon You,

without sword and shield,

without food and drink,

without a bed to lie on?

Shall I say farewell to my beautiful land, placing myself under Your yoke?

Shall I pour out my heart to You,

confessing my manifold sins and begging forgiveness,

tears streaming down my cheeks?

Shall I leave the prints of my knees on the sandy beach,

a record of my final prayer in my native land?

Shall I then suffer every kind of wound that the sea can inflict?

Shall I take my tiny boat across the wide sparkling ocean?

O King of the Glorious Heaven,

shall I go of my own choice upon the sea?

O Christ, will You help me on the wild waves?

Dressing the Altar

THREE: We are ready to set sail. This morning we placed objects on the altar as symbols of that setting sail. But the day has taught us new things, given us new companions, stirred within us a new sense of the journey God calls us to. What are the new things you take with you today as preparation for the journey ahead? (Time to share – kids first, then youth, then adults)

Chant : All Things New


RYAN:  The Lord be with you

And also with you

RYAN: Lift up your hearts

We lift them up to the Lord

RYAN: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God

It is right to give God thanks and praise

RYAN: The day St. Brendan and the monks embarked, they set sail towards the summer solstice. They had a fair wind, and therefore no labour, only to keep the sails properly set; but after twelve days the wind fell to a dead calm, and they had to labour at the oars until their strength was nearly exhausted. Then St Brendan would encourage and exhort them: ‘Fear not, brothers, for our God will be unto us a helper, a mariner, and a pilot; take in the oars and helm, keep the sails set, and may God do unto us, His servants and His little vessel, as He wills’. They took refreshment always in the evening, and sometimes a wind sprung up; but they knew not from what point it blew, nor in what direction they were sailing.

So we do here tonight what those monks of St. Brendan did in the boat every evening of their long voyage. Like them, we need strength for the journey and God makes a table for us in every place.

So we do here tonight what Jesus did in an upstairs room… [Words of Institution]

Jesus promises to always travel with us, guides us, sustains us, surrounds us. Wild Wind of the Spirit, Come! And open our ears to your call. Come and open our eyes to your presence. Come and open our hearts to your love, So that we might surrender ourselves into your hands without fear, but with a simple trust, ready for all, accepting all, welcoming all. Here we are Lord, feed us and send us on. Amen.

Communion Song: My Hope Is Built

Sending Prayer

ONE: As we go we will not refuse any destination:

For wild blows the wind of the spirit.

TWO: As we go we will embrace all that crosses our way:

For wild blows the wind of the spirit.

THREE: As we go we will open our hearts to the good in all creation, despite our reservations:

For wild blows the wind of the spirit.

ONE: As we go we will hold close to your Word and give all to you:

For wild blows the wind of the spirit.

TWO: As we go we will not be bound by our weaknesses nor limited by our strengths:

For wild blows the wind of the spirit.

THREE: As we go we will see each struggle as a place of learning:

For wild blows the wind of the spirit.

ONE: As we go we will welcome any companion who wishes to journey with us:

For wild blows the wind of the spirit.

TWO: As we go we will not predict or plan for rigid outcomes,

THREE: but will relish all of the surprises and take the greatest risks:

For wild blows the wind of the spirit.


RYAN: Bless to us, o God,

the moon rising above us

the Earth firm below us

the Friends gathered around us

and your image deep within us.


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Scot Ashton August 15, 2013 - 8:22 pm

This IS beautiful

As a Devout Roman Catholic I’m loving this.

This is warm, real, earthy and yet is NOT grounded in the Earth as pagan religions are. This is earth looking up to heaven—where GRACE comes from and comes to us in Christ Jesus—in whom we are saved. The Faith of those spoken of in this Liturgy challenges, moves, assures and calms.

Thank you—this is what my household needed at this time.

May our Blessed Mother intercede for all of you-on this –Her Assumption –and Reunion with her Divine Son-the Incarnate God Jesus Christ!


Scot Ashton

Christine Sine August 15, 2013 - 9:13 pm

Thanks Scot I am glad that it resonated with you in this way.

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