St. John’s, Portsmouth, offers a series of Celtic Evenings

Candlelit evening services of Celtic music, poetry and reflection on offer at Seacoast Church

Starting this September, St. John’s Episcopal Church will offer a series of meditative evening services based on the timeless traditions of Celtic spirituality.  The first St. John’s Celtic Evening will be held on September 18th, 2016, at 5:30 pm in the St. John’s sanctuary, 101 Chapel Street, Portsmouth, NH.  The theme for this first evening will be ‘Creation’ and will feature Celtic spiritual readings, Celtic vocal and instrumental music and periods of meditation and prayer.  Refreshments will be offered in Thaxter Hall after the service.

With its emphasis on the divine in nature and personal intimacy with God, along with inspirational Celtic art and music, there is a ground swell of interest in Celtic spirituality across the United States.  Many church congregations from a wide range of denominations, as well as those who do not practice organized religion, are finding the very ancient themes and practices of Celtic spirituality relevant for 21st century life. 

Associate Rector of St. John’s, the Rev. Anne Williamson, said she first enjoyed Celtic worship on a trip to Iona, part of the Inner Hebrides off Scotland, several years ago and returned to Iona this spring for a pilgrimage with John Philip Newell, the former warden of the Iona Community.  ‘I am drawn to the simplicity, but also the challenge of worship on Iona, where our connectedness and care of creation, hospitality, and justice and peace are at the heart of the Iona Community’s working and worshipping life.’

After observing the increasing popularity of Celtic services in other states, including in Massachusetts and Maine, St. John’s hopes that the Seacoast community will welcome the opportunity to spend a candlelit hour of personal reflection and communal participation facilitated by poetry, prose and music.  

St. John’s will offer additional Celtic Evenings on the third Sunday of October, November and December, 2016.  For more information on St. John’s Celtic Evenings, contact Anne Williamson at anne@stjohnsnh.org  or 603-436-8283 x125.