Sunday, July 11, 2010

Celtic Retreat on the Festival of Lughnasa

I've been graciously invited to lead an August 7th Celtic mini-retreat at All Saints Episcopal, Brookline, MA. All Saints has a 5 pm Saturday Celtic Mass adapted from the liturgies of Iona Island and many other sources, and they often sponsor special events at feasts or Saints Days like this.

Facebook event and press release are below. I may also do some live-blogging from Ireland for the next few weeks if the computers like me.

All Saints Parish is sponsoring a retreat on “The Celtic Festival of Lughnasa” on Saturday, August 7, 3:00 - 4:30 pm. The retreat will be led by Harvard Divinity School graduate Kieran Conroy, who will share the history and themes of Lughnasa and its sister-celebrations in Scotland and other places of Celtic influence. His presentation will be illustrated with photographs from his trip to Ireland where he researched Celtic festivals, folklore, shrines, and holy places.

The ancient Irish festival of Lughnasa is one of the important “quarter feasts” celebrated with parallels among many Celtic peoples since ancient times. Like other pre-Christian holidays, the coming of Christianity seems to have transformed rather than destroyed these ancient festivals of the Gaelic people. Lughnasa marks the beginning of the harvest in Ireland, and had many beautiful customs and traditions that continued in interesting forms into our own time.

Kieran Conroy will also describe other important folk-holidays among traditional Celtic communities, particularly where Christianity harmonized with ancient customs and beliefs. He will share photographs and artifacts from his research on important religious sites in Ireland. He will lead participants in exploring how Lughnasa might inform our Christian spirituality today.

All are invited to the retreat at 3:00 pm and to the Celtic Holy Eucharist at 5:00 pm, where the preacher will be Kieran Conroy. There is no fee, but voluntary donations will be accepted. Following the service all are invited to the Celtic potluck appetizer social hour at 6:00 pm. Please bring a dish to share. Kieran Conroy suggests that people bring foods associated with Lughnasa, such as potato, fish, chicken, cabbage, berries and Irish bacon dishes or other family favorites that honor the spirit of generosity and sharing.

All Saints Parish is located at 1773 Beacon Street (corner of Dean Road) in Brookline.

For more information, contact All Saints Parish at 617-738-1810 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 617-738-1810 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or or

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