“Wherein the Holy Spirit Makes a Dwelling”
2019/20 Worship Theme:
“Moved in Infinite Love by All Things”
Celtic Contemplative Worship, Nordic Contemplative Evening Prayer, and Compline: Contemplative Night Prayer are mainstays of Pilgrim’s Saint Clair Sunday Evening worship and events. These candlelight services, held from early fall until late spring each year, open doors to worship that embrace cultures and times beyond our own, feature vocalizations and acoustic music evocative of each theme, and highlight scripture and historic and contemporary poetry and prose.
A Celtic Journey into the Mysteries
Second Sunday of the month, 6:51 pm
January – March 2020
January 12: in the dark, reaching for you
February 9: You came looking for me
March 8: Launch Us Heavenwards
Celtic Christianity refers to a spirituality that characterized the young British church from as early as the fourth century A.D. Although pushed out to the Celtic fringes of Britain after Augustine of Canterbury’s Roman mission in 597 A.D., it has always managed to survive in one form or another, usually on the edges of formal religion. One of the leaders of the Celtic Christian movement was St. Aidan, Abbot of Lindisfarne, known for his concern for the poor and strangers, who died in 651 A.D. (The starting time for these worship services commemorates him and also happens to be our area code!)
In our Celtic worship, we draw many prayers and texts from the Carmina Gadelica (“the songs and poems of the Gaels,” reaching back as far as the 6th century) and from Scotland’s Iona Community. We also incorporate prose and poetry from a wide variety of sources, including the work of our own very talented members. The prayers and readings address more than the transcendent and ultimate questions that most religions define; they also address the mysteries and challenges of everyday life, such as the uncertainty of the near future, the crises of present life, and the unknowns of the past. The Celtic style of contemplative prayer used in this worship is known for engaging imagination through visual and spatial imagery, as well as emphasizing the life of God within creation.
A celebration of the rich and haunting music of the Scandinavian peoples
Fourth Sunday of the month, 6:51 pm
January – April 2020
January 26: Stepping Fearless through the Night
February 23: There’s a Thread You Follow
March 22: In Those Dark Halls of Honey
April 26: Markings
Come early at 6:30 pm to hear an extended prelude by the Guest/Featured musician.
Evening Prayer liturgy has been the usual prayer of people since the days of the early Christian church. This liturgy, along with Morning Prayer, attunes us to the holiness of time. We participate in these daily rhythms, praising God for the sun’s rising and a new day, thanking God for all the day has brought at day’s end. We gather to celebrate the sacred mysteries of our lives in the context of the mystery of God. Nordic Contemplative Evening Prayer at Pilgrim bends the liturgical components of Evening Prayer, keeping the general structure and intent intact.
In the same way that the Celtic contemplative service, developed at Pilgrim, seems indigenous to our neighborhood and city, so also is this Nordic service. Nordic roots, of course, run deep in the Twin Cities, this state, and the whole upper Midwest region.
an ancient liturgy led by the Minnesota Compline Choir
Third Sunday of the month, 6:51 pm
March 1: Taizé
March 29: St. John Passion by Schütz/Bach
April 19: Earth Vespers
Our Choral Contemplative Prayer services will continue our practice of combining and featuring ancient chants alongside newly composed music, “Word Weavings” of scripture and poetry for meditation, and moments of musical improvisation. The Contemplative Prayer Choir of Pilgrim Lutheran Church is offered as an outgrowth of the ministry of The Minnesota Compline Choir. The Minnesota Compline Choir will no longer operate its own active choral program, but may still be heard in archived recordings on their website or on archived Saturday evening radio broadcasts, and a number of their members are continuing to sing with us in this new Contemplative Prayer Choir for tenors and basses.
All worship services are held at Pilgrim Lutheran Church, 1935 St. Clair Ave., St. Paul. Pilgrim is a home for hungry minds and souls. In these days, many of us are discovering our longings for a spiritual life and a faith community. If you are not already a part of a faith community, we invite you to bring your spiritual journeys to this Lutheran Christian place.