Evensong – Contemplative Worship – 4th Sundays

Our Evensong worship draws from the liturgical traditions of Iona and Northumbria. At the heart of this liturgy lies the rhythmic prayers of the Daily Office – prayers used communally and individually, each day. This is a great gift from the monastic traditions. At Evensong, we practice different forms of prayer, story-telling and Scripture meditation. There are times to be still, to be silent. At Evensong, we can experience God through the serenity of the natural world around us. At Evensong, there are times to sing. The music at Celtic Evensong is contemplative, lively and haunting. And at Evensong, there are times to pray. The prayers are at once earthy, holy and inclusive, mostly drawn from The Psalms. 

At Evensong, we draw from the examples of great Christian fathers and mothers of the faith from past centuries. We meditate on the truths found in the Bible, explore the historical expression of faith from Celtic times and the monastic tradition – then we allow God to show us how to apply those same Biblical truths in our time, in our culture and in our lives. 

The Celtic Evensong is held once a month (Except Summer break and December), on 4th Sundays at 7:00 pm.


Evensong – A Contemplative Christian Worship Experience
Sunday, October 22nd
 – 7:00 pm
St. Ailbhe, Bishop of Emly, 5th or 6th century
Focus: Personal Sabbath time, Holiness and Spiritual Retreats

Detail of the St. Ailbhe Window, The Honan Chapel, Cork City, Ireland

Although many are under the mistaken belief that Saint Patrick was the first to bring Christianity to Ireland, Saint Ailbhe was converted by British missionaries earlier. Ailbhe fixed his see at Emly (Imlech, County Tipperary, though the cathedral is now at Cashel), which is officially listed by the Vatican as being founded in the 4th century, making it the oldest continuous see in Ireland.

He was known as a powerful preacher and a model of sanctity, who won many souls to the faith. Although he lived in the world in order to care for the souls of his flock, he was careful for his own soul, too. He made frequent retreats and engaged in habitual recollection. Saint Ailbhe especially loved to pray in front of the sea.

Focus: Personal Sabbath time, holiness, spiritual retreats.


Evensong – A Contemplative Christian Worship Experience
Sunday, November 26th – 7:00 pm
St. Milburga, Abbess of Much Wenlock, England
Focus: What it means to live a consecrated Christian life of grace, humility and beauty

St. Milburga embroidery

The ruins of Wenlock Abbey in Shropshire, dating from the 11th century remind us of St. Milburga. She was one of a family of eminent saints and belonged to the royal house of Mercia. Helped by her father, Merewald, an Anglian chieftain, and her uncle Wulfhere, king of Mercia, she founded Wenlock Abbey and was installed as it’s second abbess by St. Theodore. It was no ordinary monastery; everything about it reflected the grace and fragrance of her own pure spirit. Chronicles of the time tell us that the gardens were full of the choicest flowers, the orchards bore the sweetest fruits, and within its walls was found, we are told, the very peace of heaven. The Abbey is said to have flourished like a paradise under her rule, partly because of the virtues she cultivated and the spiritual gifts with which she was blessed. 

The saint, who was educated in France, was noted for her humility, and was endowed with the gift of healing and restored sight to the blind, according to popular stories. Through the strength of her exhortations she was also reputed to bring sinners to repentance. She organized the evangelization and pastoral care of south Shropshire. 

She loved flowers, birds, country life and country people, to sit and work in the sun and tend the herbs in her garden, and to visit in the villages around. People came to her with their troubles and ailments and even ascribed to her miraculous cures. Milburga was venerated for her humility, holiness. She died c. 700 or 722. 

The Early Middle Ages were the days when the daughters of kings were proud and eager to dedicate their wealth and talents in Christian leadership and to pour out their youth and strength in the service of the Church. They founded and ruled great abbeys, taught the young, cared for the sick and relieved the poor.

Come learn how St. Milburga served God in a consecrated Christian life full of grace, humility and beauty. Come experience Celtic Evensong.


The Celtic Evensong service is guided throughout, but do not be afraid to experience the service at your own pace and understanding. This is meant to be a faith journey, not a destination. Therefore, feel free to sit, stand, kneel or in other ways pray and meditate as God leads you. There is no traditional sermon. Instead there is a brief reflection time shared by a lay person or a clergy person.

At Evensong, we draw from the examples of great Christian fathers and mothers of the faith from past centuries. We meditate on the truths found in the Bible, explore the historical expression of faith from Celtic times and the monastic tradition – then we allow God to show us how to apply those same Biblical truths in our time, in our culture and in our lives. 

All are welcome at Evensong.

There is no one correct way of saying the Daily Office or of participating in Celtic Evensong. While our Worship Folders guide us through each service, the important thing is to find a rhythm that works for you. Do not be afraid to experience the service at your own pace and understanding. This is meant to be a faith journey, not a destination. Therefore, feel free to sit, stand, kneel or in other ways pray and meditate as God leads you. Often after a time of reflective thought and prayerful consideration, God gives us new insights in our hearts and minds as we move through each service. Therefore, we encourage the use of a spiritual journal and of a prayer diary.  

There is no traditional sermon, but a brief reflection near the beginning of the service is given by a lay person or by a member of the clergy. We love story-telling. During Evensong, we celebrate the spirituality of various Celtic saints, whose writings and life-histories are passed down in legend, song, poetry and special readings. Much like the ancient Celts, we use images and icons, flowers or candles, crosses and statuary as a guide to focus our meditations. 

Eucharist / Communion

Usually Holy Communion is a highlight of our Evensong Service. All are welcome to receive Communion. Instructions about receiving the bread and juice are given. But please do not worry about “doing it right”. The important thing is simply to know that God welcomes you. Let God speak to you in Holy Communion. Just be open to receive whatever God chooses to reveal to you.

Should you wish to serve as a liturgist, story-teller, reader, prayer giver, or anmchara (spiritual advisor/friend), please contact Kim Wendt at Cell/Text: (561) 436-8555 or kim@oceanviewumc.com.

Beannachd Dia dhuit (Blessings of God be with you)!

 

Be Sociable, Share!