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  • Fr Daniel

The Feast of Columba

You may wish to sing along/listen to or read:

For all the saints who from their labours rest, who thee by faith before the world confessed, thy name, O Jesu, be for ever blest.


Thou wast their rock, their fortress, and their might; thou, Lord, their captain in the well-fought fight; thou, in the darkness, still their one true light.


O may thy soldiers, faithful, true, and bold, fight as the saints who nobly fought of old, and win, with them, the victor's crown of gold.


O blest communion, fellowship divine! we feebly struggle, they in glory shine: yet all are one in thee, for all are thine.


And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long, steals on the ear the distant triumph-song, and hearts are brave again and arms are strong.


The golden evening brightens in the west; soon, soon to faithful warriors comes their rest: sweet is the calm of Paradise the blest.


But lo, there breaks a yet more glorious day; the saints triumphant rise in bright array: the King of glory passes on his way.


From earth's wide bounds, from ocean's farthest coast, through gates of pearl streams in the countless host, singing to Father, Son and Holy Ghost.




Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden:

cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,

that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name;

through Christ our Lord. Amen.

If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, your right hand hold me fast.

Psalm 139. 9-10

You may wish to sing along/listen to or read:

Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth. Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks,  we praise you for your glory. Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father.  Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us; you are seated at the right hand of the Father, receive our prayer. For you alone are the Holy One,  you alone are the Lord,  you alone are the Most High. Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit,  in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

(Dom Gregory Murray)


Almighty God, who filled the heart of Columba with the joy of the Holy Spirit and with deep love for those in his care: may your pilgrim people follow him, strong in faith, sustained by hope, and one in the love that binds us to you; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Liturgy of the Word

A reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah (61.1-3)

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to provide for those who mourn in Zion to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit. They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, to display his glory. 

Thanks be to God.

Psalm 15

R/ You are my inheritance, O Lord.

Preserve me, God, I take refuge in you. I say to the Lord: 'You are my God.' . O Lord, it is you who are my portion and cup;

it is you yourself who are my prize.

You are my inheritance, O Lord.

I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel,

who even at night directs my heart;

l keep the Lord ever in my sight:

since he is at my right hand, I shall stand firm.

You are my inheritance, O Lord.

You will show me the path of life, the fullness of joy in your presence,

at your right hand happiness for ever.

You are my inheritance, O Lord.

A reading from the first letter of Paul to the Thessalonians (2. 2-12)

Though we had already suffered and been shamefully maltreated at Philippi, as you know, we had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in spite of great opposition. For our appeal does not spring from deceit or impure motives or trickery, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the message of the gospel, even so we speak, not to please mortals, but to please God who tests our hearts. As you know and as God is our witness, we never came with words of flattery or with a pretext for greed; nor did we seek praise from mortals, whether from you or from others, though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children. So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us. You remember our labour and toil, brothers and sisters; we worked night and day, so that we might not burden any of you while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and God also, how pure, upright, and blameless our conduct was towards you believers. As you know, we dealt with each one of you like a father with his children, urging and encouraging you and pleading that you should lead a life worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.

Thanks be to God.

You may wish to sing along/read (Tune: Ellacombe – The Day of Resurrection)

When full of zeal, Columba

To fair Iona came

From Ireland, great Apostle,

To light the gospel flame,

To preach the sweet Evangel

Of peace to humankind,

‘Twas then his holy purpose

A Scottish cell to find.

Torr Abb, spot ever sacred,

His dying accents heard,

As with his words prophetic

The lonely Isle was stirred;

Preparing ways for others,

The selfsame faith to spread.

For many a faithful teacher,

The servants of one head.

Thedawn has spread to morning,

The morn to noontide’s smile;

And now the truth he planted

Is rooted in our isle;

And all through Scotia’s borders

The Cross is lifted high,

The Church of Christ Triumphant,

The faith which shall not die.

Long days have come and vanished

For fourteen hundred years,

And now we reap with singing

What once was sown in tears;

O may our faith and courage,

Like his, be firm and sure.

Like him, may we be fearless,

And to the end endure.

His time of labour ended,

His Sabbath came at last-

And on that day of resting

To endless rest he passed;

He meekly blessed his children,

Received the Bread of Life,

Then fell asleep in Jesus,

Victorious in the strife.

Alleluia, Alleluia!

Go, make disciples of all nations, says the Lord!


A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke (12.32-37)

Glory to you, O Lord.

‘Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ‘Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them.

Praise to you, O Christ.

From the Life of Columba, by Adomnan

From his boyhood Colum Cille devoted himself to the Christian combat and to the search for wisdom. By God’s grace he preserved integrity of body and purity of soul, so that he seemed like one ready for the life of heaven though still on earth; for in appearance he was like an angel, refined in his speech, holy in his works, pre-eminent in character, great in counsel.

In the forty-second year of his age he sailed away from Ireland to Britain, wishing to be a pilgrim for Christ. During his life of thirty-four years as a soldier of Christ on the island of lona, he could not let even one hour pass that was not given to prayer or reading or writing or some other good work. Night and day he so unwearyingly gave himself to fasts and vigils that the burden of each single work seemed beyond the strength of man. Yet through all he was loving to everyone, his holy face was always cheerful, and in his inmost heart he was happy with the joy of the Holy Spirit.When the end of his years was at hand, he gave his last commands to his brothers, saying: ‘I commend to you, my children, these last words of mine, that you keep among you unfeigned love with peace.’ Then when the bell was rung for the midnight office he arose quickly and went to the church, where he went in alone before the others and knelt down in prayer before the altar. Diormuit his attendant followed, and the whole community of monks ran in with lights; when they saw that their father was dying they began to lament. Then Diormuit raised the saint’s holy right hand, to bless the monastic company. At the same time the venerable father himself moved his hand, as well as he was able, and immediately after he had so expressed his holy blessing he breathed his last.

A reflection from Fr Daniel

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified, who has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

We sing along/listen to/read:

Angel-voices ever singing round thy throne of light, angel-harps for ever ringing, rest not day nor night; thousands only live to bless thee and confess thee Lord of might.

For, we know that thou rejoicest o'er each work of thine; thou didst ears and hands and voices for thy praise design; craftsman's art and music's measure for thy pleasure all combine.

In thy house, great God, we offer of thine own to thee; and for thine acceptance proffer all unworthily hearts and minds and hands and voices in our choicest psalmody.

Honour, glory, might and merit thine shall ever be, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, blessed Trinity! Of the best that thou hast given earth and heaven render thee.

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation;

but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Act of Contrition

I love you, Jesus, my love above all things,

and I repent with my whole heart of having offended you. Never permit me to separate myself from you again,

grant that I may love you always,

and then do with me what you will.

Act of Spiritual Reception

In union, dear Father, with Christian people throughout the world and across the centuries gathered to make Eucharist, hearing your holy Word and receiving the Precious Body and Blood, I offer you praise and thanksgiving. Even though I am exiled from tasting the Bread of Heaven and drinking the Cup of Life I pray that you will unite me with all the baptised and with your Son who gave his life for us. Come Lord Jesus, dwell in me and send your Holy Spirit that I may be filled with your presence.

Silence is kept as we recall Christ’s passion, death and resurrection, praying that we may be partakers in his victory.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen.

We sing along/read:

(The tune is unavailable to listen to online

as it a bespoke composition)

Sing we this day of your saints ever faithful

Chosen to be your pure vessels of grace.

Lighting the world for each new generation

Showing your love to the whole human race

Blessed Columba, make us more faithful,

Called to be saints in all that we do.

Strength in our weakness, light in our darkness,

Lord, take our lives that we offer to you.

Faithful they gave you their costly devotion,

Bowing their heads down to fire and the sword;

Leaving their homes for the cave and the desert

Closely to follow their Master and Lord.

Blessed Columba, make us more faithful…

Some like Columba were called to your service,

Making the dark with his holiness to shine;

Showing the world how the humble can serve you,

That in your image we too are divine.

Blessed Columba, make us more faithful…

Faithful he followed the way of our Saviour,

Teaching and preaching the words of His love;

Telling to all that the way of obedience

Leads us to glory for ever above.

Blessed Columba, make us more faithful…

Like him may we teach all people to love you

Risen with Christ, in his strength may we go-

Into the world in the power of the Spirit

Living and working your glory to show.

Blessed Columba, make us more faithful...

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