Preparing for Iona: With the Daughters of the King

The Daughters of the King is a group of women committed to prayer, service, and evangelism. At St. Mary’s last night, a dozen or so of us met for our monthly gathering, and we took a little pilgrimage to Iona. Two weeks from today,  I’ll be on the Isle of Iona, and it’s a joy thinking of those wonderful women being there with me–in thought and prayer.

I’ve been a Daughter of the King myself for about thirty years, and I received a scholarship from the national organization when I was in seminary.  I have a Daughter’s cross as part of the design of my green Ordinary time chasuble. When I became a Daughter, only lay women could be Daughters, and it was a while after I was ordained that female clergy could be an active part of the Order other than as a chaplain.
In light of that, I’ll admit that one of the things that  was precious to me when I was a candidate for Bishop was picturing a Daughter being part of the Episcopacy.  I’m not sure if that’s happened. . . . yet. That’s a door for another woman to open. 
For the Daughters, and others, who didn’t join us last night, here a few treasures for your own virtual pilgrimage to Iona:

A Scripture:

Thus says the Lord:
   Stand at the crossroads, and look,
 and ask for the ancient paths,
 where the good way lies; and walk in it,
 and find rest for your souls.   Jeremiah 6.16

A Song to sing:

One more step along the world I go,
one more step along the world I go;
from the old things to the new
keep me traveling along with you:

Refrain:
And it’s from the old I travel to the new;
keep me traveling along with you.

Round the corner of the world I turn,
more and more about the world I learn;
all the new things that I see
you’ll be looking at along with me: Refrain

As I travel through the bad and good,
keep me traveling the way I should;
where I see no way to go
you’ll be telling me the way, I know: Refrain

Give me courage when the world is rough,
keep me loving though the world is tough;
leap and sing in all I do,
keep me traveling along with you: Refrain

You are older than the world can be,
you are younger than the life in me;
ever old and ever new,
keep me traveling along with you: Refrain

 Words: Sydney Carter
Music: Southcote by Sydney Carter, arranged by Lionel Dakers
Words © 1971 by Stainer & Bell Ltd. (admin. byHopePublishing Co., Carol Stream, IL 60188).



A thought about “thin places” from Jan Richardson:

From ancient times Celtic folk have called such places thin places. In the physical landscape and in the turning of the year, thin places are spaces where the veil between worlds becomes permeable, and heaven and earth meet. It’s not that God somehow becomes more there than in other places, but rather that a veil within us falls away; we recognize and receive the presence of God with a clarity that can be difficult to come by in our daily lives. 
 
Thin places abound in the Celtic landscape. Over the centuries, many of them have become places of pilgrimage, sites where the veil has become ever more thin as people persist in coming to offer the prayers of their hearts.

A Prayer Attributed to St. Columba who founded the first Christian community on Iona in the 6th century:

Let me bless Almighty God, whose power extends over sea and land, whose angels watch over all.

Let me study sacred books to calm my soul; I pray for peace, kneeling at heaven’s gates.

Let me do my daily work, gathering seaweed, catching fish, giving food to the poor.

Let me say my daily prayers, sometimes chanting, sometimes quiet, always thanking God.

Delightful it is to live on a peaceful isle, in a quiet cell, serving the King of kings.  AMEN

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