(A Celtic) Blessing of the Animals II


The other beauty of today’s service was the commemoration of three Celtic saints, Columba, Aidan and Bede by way of drawing on Celtic culture for our worship.  Celtic spiritualiy has a particular sensibility that recognizes and celebrates our relationship with the natural world.  

Our composer-in-residence, Dick Hensold, played medieval greatpipes, reel pipes and Northumbrian smallpipes.   He was accompanied by congregant Todd Dunn and music director Ralph Johnson on guitars.

Readings for the service were Genesis 1:20-25 :Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures . . . ” and Psalm 148 (paraphrased) “All dogs and cats, large and small, Praise the Lord!”, familiar to us and but fresh when pared with a blessing of the animals. 

A new reading was St. Columba’s Altus Prosator, “The Maker On High,”  the earliest known Scottish poem.  It dates from the 6th century and carries the message Celtic monks brought from Ireland, that God is everywhere and heaven touched our world.  A later search on the internet revealed that this poem was originally written in latin.  Our service used a translation in modern English vernacular.  This brought 6th century people very close to me; our desires, our joys haven’t changed.  Then as now, as Bill Staines wrote and we sang today, All God’s Critters Got a Place in the Choir.

Reva Rasmussen, Deacon of Evangelism


One Response to “(A Celtic) Blessing of the Animals II”

  1. celticmusicfan Says:

    Beautiful post. There is something about Celtic music that is eternal.

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