Praying in the Celtic Way: A helpful tool for Chaplains who are on the run!

Schools are such a busy place; sometimes, I feel guilty and regret that I don’t have enough time and space in my school day to stop and pray. 

Praying in the Celtic way has enabled me to rid some of that guilt and regret as this tradition invites us to pray on the run by consciously calling to mind and giving thanks for God’s presence in the routine tasks and activities that we undertake each day. 

Praying in the Celtic way is an acknowledgement that God blesses us and we bless God in return when we open ourselves to God’s presence in every aspect of our day.

Praying in the Celtic way starts with the sound of the morning alarm, where we don’t groan about another working day but take a moment in the morning’s quiet to thank God for all that the day will hold.

Many Celts start their day by invoking the Trinity by splashing water on their face and saying in the name of the Creator, Revealer and Sustainer of Life or Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

At breakfast or with the first sip of our favourite morning beverage, we thank God for the food and drink that will sustain us throughout our day.

As we make lunches for loved ones, we turn this mundane task into a sacramental act by giving thanks for each family member and asking for God’s blessing on them. 

As we leave our homes, we make a conscious effort to view our surroundings. We listen for the bird call. We look for new buds and leaves on the trees. We feel the wind in our hair, the rain on our faces, and we acknowledge the awesomeness of our creator. 

As we enter our office space and turn on our computers, we offer a prayer of thanks for the work that we will undertake and the resources that enable us to preach and teach God’s word.

As we prepare our chapel spaces for worship, we pray and give thanks for the students and staff that will come through our doors, especially naming those who we know are troubled.

When we attend meetings or enter each classroom to teach or visit, we breathe in God’s presence and pray that God’s spirit will be with us during this time.

After each encounter, we take a moment to give thanks for each person or pray a silent blessing for those who look concerned or worried.

As we leave our school grounds, we silently name the blessings and concerns of that day and hand them over to God.

As we travel home, we once again, take in the joy of our surroundings and experience God’s peace through the beauty we see.

When we return home, we give thanks for places of comfort, those who reside with us, and for the rest and renewal that will take place at the end of the day. 

The Celtic way of praying reminds me that God is present in everyday tasks and encounters, whether that be stopping to chat in the schoolyard, preparing for chapel, laughing and joking with students, doing the food shopping, exercising, tending my garden or spending time with family and friends. 

If I consciously stop for a moment and give thanks or open myself to God’s presence, I feel more connected and closer to God because I am choosing to include God in all aspects of my day. 

Closing Prayer for Chaplains on the run!

I pray not only come, God, but move me to let you in.  

Not simply be with me, but let me feel your presence always. 

Not so much hear my prayer, 

but give me words which resonate with the energy of your love.  

Not always help me, but let me learn to see your working in my life. 

Not protect me, but immerse me in life and let me love and give. 

Not save me, but let me understand that in the vastness of your universe, you lovingly surround me, always and completely.  

Amen 

Tracey Gracey Written by:

Tracey is the School Chaplain for Pulteney Grammar, a historic Anglican school in the heart of Adelaide. She is also the Senior Chaplain for Anglican Schools (SA). Tracey enjoyed being a parish priest and part-time chaplain for Walford Anglican School for Girls in her previous role. She is now enjoying her full-time chaplaincy position and assisting in parish ministry when required. She loves the vibrancy and energy of school life and the challenge of imparting the Gospel message, so it is relevant and life-giving to those in her school community.

One Comment

  1. Andrew Mintern
    November 2, 2022
    Reply

    Thanks Tracey, As one who groans in the morning, that was a great reminder to pray and give thanks. See you next week.

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