Monday, 27 August 2012

Lindisfarne Days of Creation

Aidan - Flame of the North 

Genesis 1:3
And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. 
The end of this week sees the feast day of St Aidan and the Lindisfarne saints. On the island this is a week of thanksgiving. 

For a wonderful account of the life of Aidan see Canon Kate Tristam's article here

St Aidan's Bamburgh
from the Baptistry
When I have the time, my visits to Lindisfarne include paying my respects to Wilfrid at Hexham and then Aidan at St Aidan's in Bamburgh. By tradition, Aidan died in an earlier wooden church on this site and the beam he was leaning against has survived two major fires. Benedictines rebuilt the church in the 12th Century, honouring the memory of the Celtic 'apostle'. 

In a symbol of resurrection the beam is now part of the roof work over the baptistry. 

There is a simple shrine over the ground where he lay and, touchingly, prayer tokens take the celtic shape of shells, pebbles and feathers tucked into a little stone recess at the side.  

Then it is often a case of racing the tide for the crossing - it seems to be another personal tradition to only just make it one way or the other. 

This year was the first year that I made the crossing on foot - in bare feet to be precise -  following the sentinel posts that mark safe passage. The poem and post Pilgrim Sands celebrates the experience of walking in the footsteps of all those who wander for the love of Christ.  

There are always poems surfacing in thanksgiving that my own 'wandering' leads me to a place of ebb and flow. A place where the Spirit feeds my spirit and then sends me home to follow my own roads and pathways of life and ministry. 

There are probably a thousand ways of expressing Celtic spirituality - a thought that came to me about Aidan is that he carries God's hospitality with him. That wherever he was, he was the doorkeeper to the Kingdom - and his lamp was always lit.

Blessing of Aidan 

May you  shine with Heaven's Light 
May your heart be Light
in Love's longing
May your words be Light 
in dark times
May your hands be Light
in life's struggles
May your feet be Light
in sharing journeys
and bringing all to the Feast
May you shine with Heaven's Light

Blessed be


The Northumbria Community offers an on-line Daily Office which includes a Compline dedicated to the Lindisfarne saints. Monday is for Aidan

On the island there is a whole week of celebration leading up to Aidan's day on Friday - for those who are able to be there - and I wish I was one of them - this is the events diary and and more details here
St Aidan's Week/St.Mary's church: Choral Evensong with the Choir of St Cuthbert's Norham 17:30hrs
St Aidan's Week/St.Mary's church: Procession of the Lindisfarne Gospels (Facsimile) beginning at St Aidan's Church 15:30hrs
St Aidan's Week/St.Mary's church: Evening Prayer, followed by a of commemoration of St Aidan 17:30hrs
St Aidan's Week/St.Mary's church: Concert with 'Village Voices' 19:00hrs.
St AIDAN'S DAY/St.Mary's church: Holy Communion 08:00hrs.
St AIDAN'S DAY/St.Mary's church: Mass celebrated by Fr Des McGivern, preacher Revd Rachel Poolman 11:00hrs. Followed by a Barbecue at the Open Gate and 'Story Telling' in church with Adam Bushnell.
St AIDAN'S DAY/St.Mary's church: Story Telling in church with Adam Bushnell at 11:30hrs.
St AIDAN'S DAY/St.Mary's church: Parish Communion and walking of the ancient monastic bounds; preacher Revd Mark Tanner, Warden of Cranmer Hall 10:45hrs.


Philomena Ewing said...

Nice to see how our ebb and flow overlaps on this one! :-))

Word in the Hand said...

You had so much information on your post Phil, I hardly knew where to start! blessings to you +x

Philomena Ewing said...

I'll update and link to you.
This is a beautiful photo.

Lynda said...

The photo is breathtaking! We are so blessed to be able to return to sacred places where we have experienced God in a very powerful way. My holy place is Manresa Jesuit Spiritual Renewal Centre near my home.

Word in the Hand said...

Thank you Phil +x
Lynda, it is a blessing to have somewhere nearby - but not too near - to go to.