21st June 2020

Celtic Evening Prayer






St. Paul’s Church, Forebridge, STAFFORD, ST17 4Lj.

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Celtic Evening Prayer 21st June 2020: Praying for our planet


The heavens declare the glory of the Lord
All: The skies display the work of his hands

God of light and God of night
Creator of seed and mountain
raindrop and fountain
We bring our offering of praise.

God of right and God of might
Lover of child and childless
rich and homeless
We bring our sorrow at our lack of care for your creation

For the rain forests gone, and the deserts caused by human destruction, dear God, we grieve with you.
Lord have mercy
Lord have mercy

For polluted seas, tainted land and littered streets, dear God, we grieve with you.
Christ have mercy.
Christ have mercy

For not being content to savour and cherish the simple gifts of creation, dear God, we grieve with you.
Lord have mercy
Lord have mercy

Creator God, forgive our ingratitude,
the spiritual blindness that prevents us
from appreciating the wonder that is this world,
the endless cycle of nature,
of life and death and rebirth.
Forgive us for taking without giving
reaping without sowing.
Open our eyes to see
our lips to praise
our hands to share
and may our feet tread lightly on your world.

Do you not know? Have you not heard?
All: The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth (Isaiah 40:28)


All sing:
I watch the sunrise lighting the sky,
Casting its shadows near.
And on this morning bright though it be,
I feel those shadows near me.

But you are always close to me
Following all my ways.
May I be always close to you
Following all your ways, Lord.

I watch the sunlight shine through the clouds,
Warming the earth below.
And at the mid-day, life seems to say:
I feel your brightness near me.
For you are always . . .

I watch the sunset fading away,
Lighting the clouds with sleep.
And as the evening closes its eyes,
I feel your presence near me.
For you are always . . .

I watch the moonlight guarding the night,
Waiting till morning comes.
The air is silent, earth is at rest
Only your peace is near me.
Yes, you are always...


Psalm 19

The heavens are telling the glory of God
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.


One day pours out its song to another
and one night unfolds knowledge to another.


They have neither speech nor language
and their voices are not heard,


Yet their sound has gone out into all lands
and their words to the ends of the world.


In them has he set a tabernacle for the sun,
that comes forth as a bridegroom out of his chamber
and rejoices as a champion to run his course.

It goes forth from the end of the heavens

and runs to the very end again,
and there is nothing hidden from its heat.


The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure
and gives wisdom to the simple.


The statutes of the Lord are right and rejoice the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure
and gives light to the eyes.


The fear of the Lord is clean and endures for ever;
the judgements of the Lord are true
and righteous altogether.


More to be desired are they than gold,
more than much fine gold,
sweeter also than honey,
dripping from the honeycomb.


By them also is your servant taught
and in keeping them there is great reward.

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

Reading: Isaiah 55: 6-13

Seek the Lord while he may be found,
call upon him while he is near;
 let the wicked forsake their way,
and the unrighteous their thoughts;
let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them,
 and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
 so are my ways higher than your ways
 and my thoughts than your thoughts.

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,

and do not return there until they have watered the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

For you shall go out in joy,
and be led back in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
shall burst into song,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
and it shall be to the Lord for a memorial,
for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.


All sing:

With Mary let my soul rejoice,
and praise God's holy name –
his saving love from first to last,
from age to age the same!

How strong his arm, how great his power!
the proud he will disown;
the meek and humble he exalts
to share his glorious throne.

The rich our God will send away
and feed the hungry poor;
the arms of love remain outstretched
at mercy's open door.

So shall God's promise be fulfilled,
to Israel firmly made:
a child is born, a Son is given
whose crown will never fade.

All glory to the Father, Son
and Spirit now proclaim.
With Mary let the world rejoice
and praise God’s holy name.


Reading:  John, chapter 15 (extract)


I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit...  Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing… My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.

 As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.  If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.  I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.

‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.  No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends... You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last.


Reflection by Revd Alison

Creator God, for daily bread
and all who work
to care for your world
we bring our thanks today.

Forgive our ingratitude,
we who have so much
yet waste and destroy what you have given.

We pray for those whose harvest is poor,
whose crops have withered,
whose water is tainted, whose children starve.
Help those who bring relief
and bestow on us
an unaccustomed generosity,
that all might share from your garden
and all might sing your praise.

Creator God, provider of all
we bring our thanks today.
May we bless each other
that the beauty of this world
and the love that created it
might be expressed though our lives
and be a blessing to others
now and always


A prayer for our earth, by Pope Francis

All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love,
that we may protect life and beauty.

Fill us with peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one.
O God of the poor,
help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth,
so precious in your eyes.
Bring healing to our lives,
that we may protect the world and not prey on it,
that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.
Touch the hearts
of those who look only for gain
at the expense of the poor and the earth.
Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,
to be filled with awe and contemplation,
to recognize that we are profoundly united
with every creature
as we journey towards your infinite light.
We thank you for being with us each day.
Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle
for justice, love and peace.



All sing:

For the fruits of his creation
thanks be to God;
for his gifts to ev’ry nation,
thanks be to God;
for the ploughing, sowing, reaping,
silent growth while we are sleeping,
future needs in earth’s safe-keeping,
thanks be to God.


In the just reward of labour,
God’s will is done;
in the help we give our neighbour,
God’s will is done;
in our world-wide task of caring
for the hungry and despairing,
in the harvests we are sharing,
God’s will is done.


For the harvests of his Spirit,
thanks be to God;
for the good we all inherit,
thanks be to God;
for the wonders that astound us,
for the truths that still confound us,
most of all that love has found us,
thanks be to God.


Blessing prayer

The love of the Risen Christ be with us as we sleep
the love that knows no bounds
the love of grace and joy
bring us to a new day that we can greet as a new birth

Deep peace of the setting sun
Deep peace of the forgiving heart
Deep peace of the loving Christ
Be ours tonight and forever