Thoughts & Prayers for Calan Haf

By the combination of the timing of the church calender, my purchasing the Daily Office of SSF and it being posted at a certain time, and however biblegateway decides its verse for the day… today there were some readings and prayers that were really bang on for where I’m at and also for celebrating the beginning of the summer season.

 

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

(Romans 12)

 

Fire

 

You, O Lord, are my lamp; you turn our darkness into light.

The light and peace of Jesus Christ be with you (and also with you)

 

Blessed are you, Sovereign Lord,

the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ;

to you be glory and praise for ever.

From the deep waters of death

you brought your people to new birth

by raising your Son to life in triumph.

Through him dark death has been destroyed

and radiant life is everywhere restored.

As you call us out of darkness into his marvellous light

may our lives reflect his glory

and our lips repeat the endless song,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit:

Blessed be God for ever.

 

Let my prayer rise before you as incense,

the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

 

That this evening may be holy, good and peaceful,

let us pray with one heart and mind.

As our evening prayer rises before you, O God,

so may your mercy come down upon us and cleanse our hearts

and set us free to sing your praise,

now and forever Amen.

 

PSALM 116

 

The Lord is my light and my salvation;

the Lord is the strength of my life.

The light shines in the darkness

and the darkness has not overcome it.

 

THE SONG OF MARY

 

Alleluia. Mary Magdala said to the disciples,

I have seen the Lord!

The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia.

 

Lord Have Mercy. Christ Have Mercy. Lord Have Mercy.

 

Risen Christ

To whom no door is locked, no entrance barred:

open the doors of our hearts,

that we may seek the good of others

and walk the joyful road of sacrifice and peace,

to the praise of God the Father.

Amen.

 

May the risen Christ grant us the joys of eternal life. Amen.

Beltane Eve Meanderings

A posting from the Community of Aiden and Hilda got me thinking about this season, which so far for me is bringing many changes. I’ll copy and paste it here, to give a flavour:

Tonight (April 30th) is Beltane eve, drawing us through the night to the dawn of the season of Beltane, the season of the sun. For the next three moons the Celtic calendar was focused on the warmth and light of the sun, of the strength of light over darkness with the summer solstice in the middle. It was the season of celebrations and feasting, but also of war and reclaiming what may have been taken from you, and of battling the enemy.

For the Celtic Christians this celebration and season lost none of its potency. It was a celebration of the Sun of Righteousness (a prophetic term for the Messiah), who comes, according to the prophet Malachi, with healing. It is a celebration of the strength of the Light of the world over spiritual darkness, and of reclaiming through ‘the Sun of Righteousness’ all and any parts of your life which have been taken from you by spiritual darkness, or ‘the enemy’.

Happy Beltane!
May the Great Light overcome all your inner darkness
May the warmth and healing of the Sun of Righteousness be with you and within you
And may you know the overcoming of ‘the enemy’ and a reclaiming of any part of your life or inner self which has been lost.

This last part of the prayer in particular struck me. It particularly reminded me of a short “statement of faith” I clung on to a few years ago, love is never wasted. Recently I was reminded of this by this meme from Action for Happiness:

There’s something both strong and bittersweet about this reflection, and I think that links well to this post:

http://barnonecollective.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/the-minor-fall-the-major-lift/

Of course after listening to that I had to find a version of the song in question to actually listen to…

 

Somehow this mix of the broken and the beautiful is so apt for humanity. I particularly therefore appreciated these two reflections on “unlikely characters” that God had good purposes for:

http://cyber-coenobites.blogspot.com/2014/04/my-lord-and-my-god-john-2028.html

http://cyber-coenobites.blogspot.com/2014/04/a-stripling-in-loose-garment-stripping.html

The hotch potch of real people in the bible gives me real hope at times!

 

To end, I had looked to the Carmina Gadaelica (online here:http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/cg.htm ) for a Beltane Blessing, but decided on just picking a few segments from the possibilities for today:

“…The strength of the Triune be our shield in distress,
The strength of Christ, His peace and His Pasch,
The strength of the Spirit, Physician of health,
And of the precious Father, the King of grace.

…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.”

“…Bless everything and every one,
Of this little household by my side

Place the cross of Christ on us with the power of love,
Till we see the land of joy,
Till we see the land of joy,…

Thou Being who didst create me at the beginning,
Listen and attend me as I bend the knee to Thee,
Morning and evening as is becoming in me,
In Thine own presence, O God of life,
In Thine own presence, O God of life.”

Not quite there yet, but looking forward to Calan Haf…

 

Solstice & Christmas Musical Meditation

A little bit of a youtube link frenzy follows…

So this started out with me thinking of something for the Winter Solstice and wondering what musical stuff we could listen to as a collective that would reflect this turn of the year. In the end the most fitting tribute to the end of the longest night seemed to be to get together for a walk, but I thought as we’re all scattered to the four winds for the rest of this holiday season, I might as well share some internet based joy for us all instead.

Midwinter’s always been one of my favourite festivals, even before I knew it existed, my subconscious mind had tuned in to the changes in light, and I have long looked forward to this tipping point in the year. From here onwards, however long and dark the nights, it’s still getting lighter. This year, having contained much sorrow, reflections in the shadows seem most apt. I think that’s probably what I appreciate most about this poem:

Winter Solstice Shadows

I thought that same mood infuses this song, aptly named Solstice Song by Finley & Pagdon:

Someone has also set some lovely winter landscapes to a piece of music by Enya entitled And Winter Came:

And then there is another video, this time with music from Fleet Foxes, but with a beautiful series of slides that take you right through the cycle of the year:

 

After listening to these reflecting the dark season, it seemed a matter of balance to then look to the opposite theme, the returning of the light. A random search for the words “not so dark” came up with this little gem:

And then (I almost feel like I should say, of course!) something from Hildegard of Bingen… Lux Vivens (Living Light):

 

Finally, I thought a focus on Christmas itself, the incarnation.

Along that theme this Santa vs Jesus spoken word thing seemed good entertainment, as well as food for thought:

In particular, it brought out for me, the focus on Jesus being Emmanuel, God with us; our brother, Jesus. Which of course links seamlessly to this piece of music:

And I think that theme ties in with another, most elegantly expressed through the medium of song:

 

Challenging doesn’t even begin to cover the title of that one! So here’s something else Christmassy and lighthearted to cheer us up… look out for the guinea pigs:

 

Nos Galan Gaeaf

Today I was trying to find something musical that seemed apt for the day. This seemed just about the best fit:

I also appreciated listening to these this morning, and think I might have them as waking up music tomorrow morning:

With that last Mumford and Sons one, I’ve known it a long time, but that’s the first time I’ve seen the video… really good visual story telling!

Then this eve I had some time thinking on the beginning of winter, and the beginnings of my own cultural heritage, so managed to find a few pieces of music that helped me reflect on all that. It actually started with finding out some of the translations of something that was originally a welsh folk tune…

Cold is the man who can’t love,
Fa la la la la, la la la la,
The old mountains of dear Wales,
Fa la la la la, la la la la,
To him and his warmest friend,
Fa la la, la la la, la la la,
A cheerful holiday next year,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Cold is the snow on Mount Snowdon,
Fa la la la la, la la la la,
Even though it has a flannel banket on it,
Fa la la la la, la la la la,
Cold are the people who don’t care,
Fa la la, la la la, la la la,
To meet together on New Year’s Eve,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Seemed rather fitting for the dark beginning of the year and the beginning of winter.

Which then led me on to a few other famous tunes that reflect some of my heritage:

Thought a little translation on that latter one might help…

English singable translation (René Micallef) :

Guard, Lord, forever, as you´ve done erst and ceasing never,

This land whose name we received, our motherly-named Mother.

Her you have draped with a light whose grace exceeds all other.

On those who govern, sovereign God, bestow understanding,

Grant wellness to those who work, largesse to those employing,

Make firm, make just all our bonds, the peace we are enjoying.
Simplified English translation (May Butcher) :

Guard her, O Lord, as ever Thou hast guarded!

This Motherland so dear whose name we bear!

Keep her in mind, whom Thou hast made so fair!

May he who rules, for wisdom be regarded!

In master mercy, strength in man increase!

Confirm us all, in unity and peace!

Which brings me back around to this one, relevant to my more recent past and present (& I hope future):

Which also reminds me… I saw this news article about a recent exciting archaeological find locally:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-24723765

And also in the news, I spotted a modern day saint that I shall remember today:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24653643

An Apt Prayer

The turning of the year has brought an awful lot of changes and challenges, so this prayer from the Carmina Gadaelica seemed most apt:

DHE STIUIR MI

God Guide Me

From the Carmina Gadelica

GOD guide me with Thy wisdom,
God chastise me with Thy justice,
God help me with Thy mercy,
God protect me with Thy strength.

God fill me with Thy fullness,
God shield me with Thy shade,
God fill me with Thy grace,
For the sake of Thine Anointed Son.

Jesu Christ of the seed of David,
Visiting One of the Temple,
Sacrificial Lamb of the Garden,
Who died for me.