We are aware that this liturgy is more suitable for the northern hemisphere - at least at this time of the year! We will leave it up all year round for our friends in the south - and would be interested to know how - or if - you use the earthly season to highlight aspects of the religious season... do let us know! (address below)

Settings for the Liturgy

Either warm and cosy indoors - or well-wrapped up outside.
See also: making it part of a "Christmas/ New Year party")

This is a liturgy for dark evenings and candle light - or other soft lighting.

Bring evergreens and other natural materials into your worship area. Add fruit and nuts - to speak of fruitfulness even in the midst of barrenness.

Use aromatic oils - cinnamon - orange - sandalwood to add a warm fragrance to the proceedings.

Choose a setting! Woodland - on a hillside under the stars - or just in the garden!

You might consider gathering round a fire - where this is safe to do so.

Use lanterns or, if you must, torches to read by - you will also find it useful to print out in large print!

Scripture readings

Genesis 1,
Psalm 147
Daniel 3: 57-88, 56 (use as a responsory - Reader: Bless the Lord... ALL: TO HIM BE HIGHEST GLORY AND PRAISE FOREVER (or the translation used in your own Bible)

Consider also using poetry (e.g. Gerard Manley Hopkins) or the canticle of St Francis


The liturgy has a "Celtic" feel - and so look to traditional carols - The Holly and the Ivy - and many others use the natural world to speak of the spiritual one... rediscover the symbolism.

The Iona Community's "Wild Goose Worship Group" has produced several songs which might be useful. (You can find a link to their site on our links page: Other Christian Sites)

A Thought
It can be tempting to see Celtic spirituality in rather romantic terms. If you use this liturgy, you may like to include intercessions for those who have no choice but to be outside in this coldest time of the year.
And also those whose hearts and spirits are wintry - in grief - depression, etc...

Making it part of a Christmas party
This is the party season - and many church groups like to celebrate together. Make the liturgy the basis of your celebration... Use the liturgy and then open up the refreshments - or use the Opening Responses and Scripture - intersperse with song and refreshments - and end with the Closing responses.

We are not going to suggest a menu - but outside would lend itself to roasted chestnuts and baked potatoes - with hot soup and mulled wine (recipe on request!).

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