Celtic Liturgy for the Late Evening

Intended to be doctrinally elastic and influenced by Celtic and other faith traditions


Place the candle alongside the bowl of water and have both written and unwritten cards close to these.

The following is suitable for one person or for a group of people. There is no leader. Italic text is directive and unstated. Colours help guide where the text is said by or by more than one person or one person. Blue is optional text for reasons of belief or stance and orange is for special word treatment among a number of contributors.

Liturgy of Preparation

The Lord is here
His spirit is with us/ me;
We lift our hears/ I lift my heart to the Lord.

(After Common Worship, 2000, various)

The Lord made this day.
We/ I rejoice and are/ am thankful.

The prayers for this late hour are given
In the name of Christ
To offer praise and thanksgiving,
To reflect upon both our/ my setting and work this day;
To hear and receive God's word;
To again seek forgiveness;
And to pray for the needy;
So that,
In and through the Holy Spirit,
We/ I may rest,
Given into the service of God.

(Using Common Worship, 2000, 30, 38)

As the Sun goes down
And the Moon rises
And the Golden Pond turns to silver

Blessed is the one who creates us
Blessed is the one who makes us
Blessed is the one who fashions us

(Derived from Authorised Daily Prayer Book of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, 1998, 752)

We/ I confess to God almighty
That we/ I have sinned today in our/ my thoughts, words, and deeds,
Through our/ my own deliberate fault.
Therefore we/ I ask God to have mercy.
Forgive our/ my wrongdoings
And strengthen the good in us/ me,
To prepare us/ me for eternity.
Making this prayer to the Father,
Through Christ,
Knowing that we/ I will be so pardoned,
That our/ my sin/s are put into remission,
That our/ my lives/ life are/ is amended,
And that God makes haste to help and save the people,
By the grace and comfort of the Holy Spirit -
We/ I do give thanks and praise for our/ my deliverance.

The Moon is lit by the sun
Even when the moon appears dark, the light is upon the earth on one side.
Even if the light is barely upon the earth, the moon is lit on one side.

Liturgy of A Work Completed Ritual

(Drawn in part from Green, M., 2003, How to be a White Witch: A Book of Transformations, Spells & Mind Magic, London: Hermes House, 35)

One person lights the candle, reflecting in the water. When more than one person is present, each pauses to let the next person say the most appropriate word/s choice for themselves.

Today, O God, was a difficult/ middling/ [and] easy day
It was [both] fruitful/ [and] seemingly unrewarding
Shine a light upon the work we/ I have done
And for what comes tomorrow.
Give the life force to the work we/ I have done
And for what comes tomorrow.

The day is done.
Its work is over.
We/ I have worked and lived in our places;
Now let us be done with what took place.
Thanks be to God.

Tear, screw up and dispose of any old cards/ pieces of paper from yesterday. Say:

Now, at this hour, we/ I look ahead.

At this point a small message of what is coming can be written on a postcard or small piece of paper, one by each person present.

Of the message/s written, each is placed in silence above the candle by its writer to receive its light, and then laid down nearby, and then afterwards in turn the writers can dip their fingers in the bowl of water to sprinkle on each postcard (not only their own). In cases of privacy the papers or cards may be placed face down.

The cards should be disposed at the end of the following day, probably at the next ritual.

Keep a silence

Liturgy of The Word

The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad; let the many islands rejoice. Clouds and thick darkness are around him, righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. Fire goes before him, and burns up his foes all around. His lightnings light up the world, the earth sees it and trembles. Mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord of all the earth. The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all people see his glory.

(From Psalm 97)

Glory be to the father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


Glory be to God most High: the ever-blessed Father; who is, and was, and shall be: world without end.

Or use one of these: Psalm 4, Psalm 31: 1-6, Psalm 91, Psalm 134

New Testament Reading: from Matthew, Chapter 11
(Other New Testament readings can be used):

28 'Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.'

(Matthew 11: 28-30 in the New RSV)

Liturgy of Prayers

A Form of Collect

Blessed are you - the Lord our God. God breathes into all existences, and his word changes the knowledge of the times and the seasons, so the day rolls away to be replaced by the night, and night gives way to morning. The Sun and the Moon, like all the stars, planets, and celestial beings, give us a stability to live and prosper. And may we be like the Moon, ever circling, ever renewing itself as a crown of beauty over all, in potential and fulfilment under God, as we end this day and circle in renewal towards another. Therefore, our Lord and God, we will speak of these Laws when we lie down and when we rise up, rejoicing in the wisdom given into the universe and this corner of it, for here comes our life and the length of our days, and in the Word we contemplate upon this night. May you never take your love from us and may your Kingdom come to us, as Christ expected.

(Using the Authorised Daily Prayer Book of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, 1998, 192, 754.)

The Lord's Prayer [this or traditional]

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be your name,
Your Kingdom come,
Your will be done,
On earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
As we forgive those who sin against us
Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil
For the Kingdom, the power, and the Glory are yours,
Now and for ever.

(After Common Worship, 2000, various)

Prayers for the World, the Needy, and Ourselves

Blessed are you, our God: the God of Abraham, the God of Issac, and the God of Jacob, the great mighty and revered God, the Most High God who bestows lovingkindness, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Brahman of the most wide, the creator, sustainer and creative-destroyer, the Allah of the most high, the Spirit of the forests and waters animating all, and who redeems what is touched.

You are in the blowing wind and the falling rain. You sustain the living and care for the dead. You support those who fall, and heal the sick. You set free the imprisoned. You keep faith with the faithless. You Lord are the King who puts to death and restores the dead to life. You, O God, cause salvation to flourish.

(Using the Authorised Daily Prayer Book of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, 1998, 202.)

God says to everyone: when you grow old, I am still the same; and when you fail, I will rescue you.

We/ I pray for people of faith[, especially..].

We/ I pray for the world[, especially..].

Hand gestures may follow: laying an open hand downwards for home, widening out the arms with open hands for location:

Bless, this, O God, our home
Bless this, O God, our location

We/ I pray for the sick and needy[, especially..].

We/ I pray for those departed[, especially..].

Be present, O Lord, in our/ my coming sleep
Give protection through the silent hours
And bring us/ me from this weary state
To a freshness of the coming day
To become awake, alive, and well -
To be prepared for eternity.

And tomorrow:
May all places throughout the world
Become homes of happiness,
Gardens of wish-fulfilling trees;
May the whole ground
Become completely pure:
As level as the palm of a hand,
And as smooth as lapis lazuli.
May we hear the sweetest of sounds
Issuing forth from birds and trees.
And, O God, bless the business of creatures on and in the ground;
And that beautiful light coming from space above:
Bathe us in its glow,
Coming through those clouds of offerings
With their timely rains,
And every day a plentiful harvest.

(Adaptations from Dedication, 191, in Shantideva, trans. Neil Elliot, advisor Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, Guide to the Bodhissatva's Way of Life, Ulverston: Tharpa Publications.)

May God's name be glorified.
May our/ my prayers and supplications be accepted.
May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life for us.

Our friends of the night,
Of mist and of moonlight...
You, who are seldom seen,
Be with us now -
And spread apart the veil of Being
That we may look beyond.

(Slater, H, 1978, A Book of Pagan Rituals, London: Robert Hale, 17)

Keep a moment of silence

Gorsedd Prayer

Grant, God, thy refuge;
And in refuge, strength;
And in strength, understanding;
And in understAnding, knowledge;
And from knowledge, knowledge of what is right;
And from knowledge of what is right, the love of it;
And from loving, the love of God.
God and all goodness.

(By Iolo Morgannwg and adapted by the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids; this adopted by Neopagan and Mesopagan groups such as the OBOD and the British Druid Oder.)

Keep a moment of silence

Liturgy of the Blessing

Now unto the God of grace: for the might of his spirit and the love of Christ;
Be glory in this world throughout all ages, time without end. Amen.

(Doxologies in Essex Hall,1917, Seven Services for Public Worship, London: Lindsey Press, 87)


The time has gone
The prayers are made
And the honour is given
To the One
Of no time and all time.
Be glory in this world
To the ancients
And to these/ this one/s present.
Blessed Be

(Changed from Slater, H., 1978, A Book of Pagan Rituals, London: Robert Hale, 77)


Adrian Worsfold

Pluralist - Liberal and Thoughtful