Celtic Mass for the Sea

by Scott Macmillan and Jennyfer Brickenden

Home 9 Composers 9 Scott Macmillan 9 SECOND READING – CELTIC MASS FOR THE SEA

Celtic Mass For The Sea
Second Reading:


Salmon leap from the womb of the white-sea you look on
They are calves and they are lambs of good colour
You are the fairest of all fish that roam the sea,
Lord of the restless ocean wave.

Brown crab, cockle, oyster,
Mussel, “bruiteag”, limpet, lobster,
Bearded mussel, “miaseg”, scallop-
Lobster, squid, green crab, Red crab, sea-shore flea,
Whelk, whorl, barnacle
And crafty sea-urchin,
Slender sand-eel and razor-fish,
Hose-fish, black-snout, limpet-

O, God of the sea,
Put weed in the drawing wave
To enrich the ground
To shower on us food

That it may please Thee to give and preserve
to our use the kindly fruits of the earth
and restore and continue to us the blessings of the sea.
Let not our faults or our frailty bring disaster upon us.

Tiny plant life keeps us living,
Sea weeds till we reach our landing.
Food and drink and tiny plant life,
Tiny plant life on swelling oceans.

Produce of sea to land,
Produce from land to sea;
He who doeth not in time
Scant will be his share!

Iur-aibh o hi Iur-aibh o ho
On the hillside I recline
Ho i ho rionn ei-le

Iur-aibh o hi Iur-aibh o ho
Ever yearning for the lost,
Ho i ho rionn ei-le

Iur-aibh o hi Iur-aibh o ho
Ever looking to the west,
Ho i ho rionn ei-le

Iur-aibh o hi Iur-aibh o ho
Where the sun sets in the sea.
Ho i ho rionn ei-le



The text for  The “Celtic Mass For The Sea” was derived from ancient  oral incantations, rituals and prayers; such as those found in collections like the “Carmina Gadelica” Vol. 1-5; collected, compiled, and metrically translated from Gaelic to English by Alexander Carmicheal. Traditional melodic themes heard in the “Mass” were found in three primary sources; Songs of the Hebrides”, collected and arranged by Marjorie Kennedy Fraser; “From the Farthest Hebrides” and “Beyond the Hebrides”, collected and edited by Donald A. Fergusson




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