16th May

Set Sail (BRENDAN)

When they pass through their sea of trouble I, the Lord, will strike the waves. Zechariah 10:11

Shall I abandon, O King of Mysteries, the soft comforts of home? Shall I turn my back on my native land, and my face towards the sea?

Shall I put myself wholly at the mercy of God, without silver, without a horse, without fame and honour? Shall I throw myself wholly on the King of kings, without a sword and shield, without food and drink, without a bed to lie on?

Shall I say farewell to my beautiful land, placing myself under Christ’s yoke? Shall I pour out my heart to him, confessing my manifold sins and begging forgiveness, tears running down my cheeks?

Shall I leave the prints of my knees on the sandy beach, a record of my final prayer in my native land? Shall I then suffer every kind of wound that the sea can inflict?

Shall I take my tiny coracle across the wide, sparkling ocean? O King of the Glorious heaven, shall I go of my own choice upon the sea?

O Christ, will you help me on the wild waves?
Early Irish – sometimes attributed to voyagers such as St. Brendan

Jesus who stopped the wind and stilled the waves
grant you calm in the storm times;
Jesus Victor over death and destruction
bring safety on your voyage;
Jesus of the purest love, perfect companion
bring guarding ones around you;
Jesus of the miraculous catching of fish,
and the perfect lakeside meal
guide you finally ashore.
From The First Voyage of the Coracle, Community of Aidan and Hilda