(01224) 485988 Scottish Registered Charity No. SC008157 © 2018 St Machar's Cathedral The Cathedral Church of St Machar The Chanonry Aberdeen SCOTLAND AB24 1RQ

Building & History

Welcome Welcome office@stmachar.com

Cathedral Guide
Windows
The Heraldic Ceiling
John Barbour
The Organ

The Organists
Bells of St Machar
War Memorial
Graveyard and Outside
History of the Choir

Celtic Monks Setting Sail

As well as the church that bears the name Machar, numerous ancient Celtic Christian sites exist around the Aberdeenshire area. Fordyce, Deer, Mortlach, Fyvie, Methlick, Clova, Monymusk, Dyce, Tullich and Banchory are amongst them.


Two important Celtic treasures with North East connections that still survive are the Book of Deer and the Monymusk Reliquary.


In St Machar's, the University gave on indefinite loan in 1995 an Incised Pictish or Celtic Cross Stone, which it is believed dates from the time of the foundation of the first church here, circa 580 AD. Other great saints of this early Christian period include Mungo or Kentigern, Ninian, Ternan, Bede and Cuthbert.


For further information on the Celtic history of church, St Machar's offers an occasional paper by J.D Galbraith Celtic Antecedents offers an in-depth analysis of the development of the early church in Scotland.


Some Celtic Prayers and Blessings


A Prayer of the Holy Spirit


O Holy Spirit of greatest power,

Come down upon us and subdue us;

From Thy glorious mansion in the heavens

Thy light effulgent shed on us


Father beloved of every naked one

From whom all gifts of goodness come,

Our hearts illumine with Thy mercy,

In Thy mercy shield us from all harm


Without Thy divinity there is nothing

In man that can earn esteem;

Without Thyself, O King of Kings,

Sinless man can never be.


In succour Thou art of all the best

Against the sould of wildest speech;

Food art Thou sweeter than all;

sustain and guide us at every time.


The knee that is stiff, O Healer, make pliant,

The heart that is hard make warm beneath Thy wing:

The soul that is wandering from Thy path,

Grasp Thou his helm and he shall not die


Each thing that is foul, cleanse Thou early,

Each thing that is hard soften Thou with Thy grace,

Each wound that is working us pain,

O Best of healers, make Thou whole!


Give Thou to Thy people to be diligent

To put their trust in Thee as God,

That though mayest help them in every hour

With Thy sevenfold gift, O Holy Spirit generous!


A Journey Prayer


Be Thou a smooth way before me,

Be Thou a guiding star above me,

Be Thou a keen eye behind me,

This day, this night, for ever.


I am weary, and I am forlorn,

Lead Thou me to the land of angels,

Methinks it were time I went for a space

To the court of Christ, to the peace of heaven;


I Only Thou O God of life,

Be at peace with me, be my support,

Be to me as a star, be to me as a helm,

From my lying down in peace to my rising anew.


From Carmina Gadelica Hymns and Incantations collected by Alexander Carmichael

Courtesy of Floris Books, Edinburgh, Scotland


A Celtic Blessing


May the road rise to meet you,

May the wind be always at your back,

May the sun shine warmly upon your face,

And the rain fall soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again,

May the Lord hold you in the hollow of His hand.

Celtic Roots