EACH DAY AND EACH NIGHT (BK)
J. Philip Newell
A cycle of Celtic tradition prayers
A six-day cycle of prayer in the Celtic tradition, incorporating the daily themes used in Iona Abbey: justice and peace, prayer for healing, care for the earth, commitment to Christ, the communion of heaven and earth, and welcome and hospitality. Includes a lectionary of psalms and gospel readings.
The Celtic spiritual tradition is marked by the belief that what is deepest in us, beyond the distortions of ignorance or wrongdoing, is the image of God. Its second major characteristic is a trust in the essential goodness of creation, which it regards as a revelation of God, thus avoiding the pitfall of separating spirit and matter.
For hundreds of years prayers of Celtic spirituality were passed orally from one generation to another in the Western Isles of Scotland, but the tradition faced opposition and sometimes persecution from the official religion of the land. It was in danger of dying out when finally in the 19th century Alexander Carmichael collected the prayers in his Carmina Gadelica, ‘Songs of the Gaels’. These prayers were not used in religious contexts but rather were the songs of people’s daily lives, affirming the view that the world is the temple of God and Christ is with and for the poor, the liberator of the image of God at the core of our being.
The rich and simple prayers of Each Day and Each Night are new expressions of the old words and imagery of Carmichael’s great collection. It is hoped that they will help us realise anew that the life of heaven is inseparably woven into the life of earth.