Leaving England

When the tide turns and the causeway from Holy Island to the mainland is opened soon, I’ll leave this beautiful place and begin the long journey back to Houston.

We’ve been doing all of our worship at St. Mary’s seated in choir, that is facing one another. In the pew there are cards with a blessing for those leaving the island; those leaving the island are encouraged to request the blessing at their final service.

Last night after Evening Prayer (which ended outside overlooking St. Cuthbert’s Island while we prayed prayers in honour of him), I let the Vicar know that today would be our final time to join them for worship. At The Peace this morning he asked if we still wanted the blessing. I certainly did!

At the close of the service he invited my friend and me up for our blessing. He also invited anyone else who was taking leave. Another man came forward. My friend and I smiled because our blessing allowed another to be blessed, too. God’s abundance for sure.

Here are the words of St. Mary the Virgin parish’s blessing:

To the prayers of the island saints we commend you.
May God’s angels watch round you to protect you.
May the Holy Spirit guide and strengthen you for all that lies ahead.
May Christ Jesus befriend you with his compassion and peace.

May the Lord be a bright light before us.
Be a guiding star above us.
Be a smooth path beneath us.
And the blessing of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit be with you this day and always.

Go in the peace of Christ:
Thanks be to God.

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