9.30am to 4.30 pm (Apr -
10.00am to 4.00pm (Nov -
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-
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.