The Celtic Church of Saint Brendan of the Ninth Wave celebrated its first monthly gathered Eucharist in July of 2010. It is an independent congregation worshipping in the tradition of the ancient Celtic expression of Christianity found in Ireland and Britain in the first few centuries of the Christian era.
Beginning with no funds or property, the parish gathers outdoors in parks, or in the homes of its members to celebrate the Holy Eucharist. These Gathered Eucharists take place one Sunday a month, while liturgical resources are provided for individuals and families to celebrate sacramental rites in their homes during the rest of the month. Liturgies are drawn primarily from the Iona Abbey Worship Book (from the Isle of Iona in Scotland) and the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church. All members of the congregation are invited to share alike in the leadership of the sacramental rites.
The church is located in the western suburbs of Philadelphia, in the USA. But those from farther away who wish to join in sharing our home sacramental worship are invited to connect via the internet.
We are inspired by the life and legend of Saint Brendan the Navigator. Jesus of Nazareth is for us the Christ, the anointed of God, who comes into our lives even today upon the “Ninth Wave,” an ancient Celtic metaphor for the limits of our understanding. We are a community of a gentle, Nature-centered Christians, and how we treat one another, our fellow human beings, and all the created world, is more important to us than is the creating and maintaining of accepted dogma.
Learn more at www.ninthwavechurch.com
Saint Brendan’s Missal
The Saint Brendan’s Missal is offered for the use of the community of the Celtic Church of Saint Brendan of the Ninth Wave, in Chester County, Pennsylvania. It presents a gentle, inclusive, non-hierarchical, and non-dogmatic Christianity, gathered from several worshipping communities in the Celtic and Anglican tradition. The liturgies contained herein are presented for the guidance and convenience of the congregation, but their use is suggested only, not required. Members may revise and amend them is it seems good to them to do so.
There are two special features in this Missal. First is the offering of rites for the celebration of the Sacrament of Holy Communion by family members or individuals at home or elsewhere. It is the duty of the Church to teach and encourage the faithful in the celebration of this Sacrament, the hearth being the oldest of altars, and the leaders of households being the earliest priests. It is reasonable for a Christian to celebrate as an individual, being always in the presence of angels, archangels, and all the company of heaven, and therefore never alone. Secondly, different Eucharistic Prayers are offered for each of the liturgical seasons, honoring the many Eucharist Meals found in Scripture and Tradition, and providing a much broader and deeper understanding of the Eucharist than does the image of the last Supper used alone.
Anyone who wishes may use or adapt the forms found therein.
Available online at Amazon.com
The Rev. W. William Melnyk
The Rev. W. William Melnyk, Progressive Christian Alliance, is the Pastor of the Celtic Church of Saint Brendan of the Ninth Wave. Father Melnyk holds a Master of Divinity degree from the School of Theology, University of the South, in Sewanee. He was ordained to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church in 1982, and left that denonimation in 2005.
In 2010 he became affiliated with the Progressive Christian Alliance. Ministers of the PCA are not ministers in the traditional sense.These are men and women who no longer see the role of a minister as being yards ahead of their congregation, holding the torch, lighting the path, and guiding the way. The role of the minister within the PCA is to be among their community leading, learning, laughing, loving and growing in fellowship along the path together as one.
I saw the Christ arrayed in sunlight
on the windswept hills, and read a million
names of God engraved on ancient stones,
and in the gleeful dance of human flesh I felt
the gift of love and life that human spirit owns.
In flying cloud and crashing wave I rode
the wild wings of storm and strife;
Thus I, with joyful heart and wondering spirit wrote
of songs to search the mystery of living,
and celebrate the joy of life
– from The Song of Eosaidh, (C) WW Melnyk, June 2010