Ancient Rites
Learning from those who've gone this way before
Progressive Minds
Letting God change the way we think
Affirming Hearts
Putting love first
Peace Garden close-ups

Garden Party on June 28

Ever want to party in a peace garden? Now's your chance! The St. B Quilters Guild is hosting a Garden Party in the St. Barnabas Peace Garden on Sunday, June 28, 11:30a–1:30p.

There'll be garden tours, nature hunts, games, and of course, an ample display of handmade quilts. All are welcome, admission is free, and a light luncheon will be provided by the quilters.

In fact, why not make a morning of it and worship with us, too? Our worship service is at 10:00a, with the party following at 11:30a. Hope to see you there.

Spread the word! Here's a flyer (PDF) you can download and post.


NEW! St. Barnabas Mass - Premiere June 13, 7:30p

On Saturday, June 13, 7:30p, St. Barnabas Church, Chelsea, MI, will celebrate St. Barnabas Day and cap off its 60th year of worship and service by premiering a new mass dedicated to its patron saint.

All are welcome to participate, and an open rehearsal will be held on the preceding Thursday, June 11, at 7:00p. If you like to sing, and want to help launch a work that's never been heard in its entirety, please come and join us! An ensemble of piano, organ, strings, flute and four vocalists will accompany the Thursday rehearsal and the Saturday celebration.

The setting is by Doug Howell, a professional singer-songwriter who is also a musician at St. Barnabas. The musical style is contemporary and incorporates both gospel and pop flavors. The mass also includes settings of some parts of the liturgy usually not sung, such as the Confession.

Howell says the project was inspired by how difficult much of our traditional service music is to sing. His aim was to make it more accessible, fun and easier to sing. Howell has written other pieces St. Barnabas parishioners have used in worship for several years, and finally the idea of a complete mass setting was suggested.

The St. Barnabas Mass is dedicated to the congregation as well as to its patron saint. Howell appreciates the real, loving ministry the church members exhibit on a daily basis. He recalls what he used to tell his audience when he was on the road performing his own music: “I always told people that someday, if I ever settled down, I’d find a church that I could really get involved in. Where real relationships would keep me honest, and help me practice my faith, not just preach it.” Howell believes he found that very place in St. Barnabas, and has dedicated the mass to his congregation.

Download event flyer.

palm leaf closeup

Palm Sunday Procession

St Barnabas Church prays for the community of Chelsea. A Palm Sunday procession with 14 stations throughout town. Here is a list of the stations who was prayed for at those stations and prayers:

FAITH IN ACTION - Social Services and Senior Citizens
Heavenly Father, whose blessed Son came not to be served but to serve: Bless Faith In Action, Hearts, Chelsea United Way and all who, following in his steps, give themselves to the service of others; that with wisdom, patience, and courage, they may minister in his Name to the suffering , the friendless, and the needy; for the love of him who laid down his life for us, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, on God, for ever and ever. Amen
Bless, O God, the seniors citizens of our community who have lived long, sacrificed much and worked hard so that younger generations may enjoy a quality of life that they may not have had. Let them know how deeply we value the contributions they have made to our freedom. Work among them, Lord, inspiring them to leave a legacy of faith and prayer for all generations that remain after them. And may they remain faithful to You throughout their lives. Amen
CHELSEA COMMUNITY HOSPITAL - Healthcare providers and Patients
Good and gracious God, you share your ministry of healing with physicians and nurses, and with all those professionals who commit their talents to heal and strengthen patients and their families. Through the companionship of the great physician Luke, bless them with your gifts of wisdom and hope. Give them patience when they are tired, strength when they are weak, and the grace of hospitality for everyone they meet. Loving God, lay your healing hands upon them that they may walk in your love and their every action give glory and praise to you, our loving God. Amen
O God, the strength of the weak and the comfort of sufferers: by the might of your command you drive away from our bodies all sickness and all infirmity: Be present in your goodness with your sick servants here and throughout our community, that their weakness may be banished and their strength restored; that their health being renewed, they may bless your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Almighty God, watch over all law enforcement officers. Protect them from harm in performance of their duty to stop crime, robberies, riot and violence. We pray, help them keep our streets and homes safe by day and night. We commend them to your loving care because their duty is dangerous. Grant them unending strength and courage in their daily assignments and unite them safely with their families after their duty has ended. Amen
CHELSEA CITY HALL - Local Government and Natural Resources
Almighty God our heavenly Father, send down upon those who hold office in Chelsea, Lima Township, Lyndon Township, Sylvan Township, Waterloo Township and our Washtenaw County communities the spirit of wisdom, charity, and justice; that with steadfast purpose they may faithfully serve in their offices to promote the well-being of all people. Watch over all those workers who provide the city and transportation services for us. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Almighty God, in giving us dominion over things on earth, you made us fellow worker in your creation: As caretakers of recreation lands, lakes and rivers, give us wisdom and reverence so to use the resources of nature, that no one may suffer from our abuse of them, and that generations yet to come may continue to praise you for your bounty; in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Almighty God, We give you Chelsea High School, Beach Middle School, North Creek Elementary, South Meadow Elementary, Preschools and Child Care Centers, Adult Education Programs and Chelsea District Library. We give you all the teachers and staff who work in them. We give you all the children, teens and adults who study in them. We pray they be places of great discovery, adventure and creativity. May they be places where we love to learn and where we learn to love; places where every one is respected and all are deeply valued. We ask all this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Rejoice in Christ the teacher whose simple words, spoken so long ago, have opened worlds of discovery ever since. Rejoice in the Spirit, the prodder, who plants in us a hunger for growth that keeps us reaching after truth our whole lives long. Rejoice in God the Creator whose world is full of wonders to amaze and delight us at every turn. Rejoice in the gift of learning, the gift of helping others learn, and in rejoicing, know Godʼs joy in you. Roberta Rominger
O God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, our only Savior, the Prince of Peace: We give you our many faith communities. Give us grace seriously to lay to heart the great dangers we are in by our unhappy divisions; take away all hatred and prejudice, and whatever else may hinder us from godly union and concord; that, as there is but one Body and one Spirit, one hope of our calling, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of us all, so we may be all of one heart and of one soul, united in one holy bond of truth and peace, of faith and charity, and may with one mind and one mouth glorify you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
CHELSEA AREA FIRE AUTHORITY - Firefighters and Emergency Personnel
Blessed are you, Lord, God of mercy, who through your Son gave us a marvelous example of charity and the great commandment of love for one another. Send down your blessings on these your servants, who so generously devote themselves to helping others. Grant them courage when they are afraid, wisdom when they must make quick decisions, strength when they are weary, and compassion in all their work. When the alarm sounds and they are called to aid both friend and stranger, let them faithfully serve you in their neighbor. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen
FLAG POLE - Military and Veterans
God of peace, we pray for those who have served our nation and who laid down their lives to protect and defend our freedom. We pray for those who have fought, whose spirits and bodies are scarred by war, whose nights are haunted by memories too painful for the light of day. We pray for those who serve us now, especially for those in harmʼs way. Shield them from danger and bring them safely home. Turn the hearts and minds of our leaders and our enemies to the work of justice and a harvest of peace. Let the peace you left us, the peace you gave us, be the peace that sustains, the peace that saves us. Lord Jesus, hear our prayer. Amen
COURT HOUSE - Social Justice
God of all times and places, who brings light into the worldʼs darkness, we come to you with our prayers. So that the children may no longer be denied education; so that the sick may no longer die
from curable diseases; so that the workers may no longer be cheated of justice; your kingdom come: your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. So that financial systems may no more burden the poorest; so that our trade may no more deny a fair wage; so that debt may no more trap people in poverty; your kingdom come: your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. So that the innocent will walk free from prison; so that the marginalized will live without fear; so that the whole earth will worship in freedom; your kingdom come: your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Amen
Peter Graystone
Creator God, bless the human creativity in poetry, the art and the music of our community. How dull and poor life would have been if you had not inspired poets and writers to interpret the thoughts and the experiences of humanity, if you had not let artists widen the perspectives of life with their colors and their forms, if you had not inspired musicians to catch the pulse of life and the multitude of tones, which have given body to the joy, the protest, and the praise of life. Creator God, help us all to enter the living space of creativeness, where freedom is breathing, where souls may mature and where life becomes meaningful. Bless the Chelsea Center for The Arts and The Purple Rose Theater:
those who teach and inspire and those who work to master their talents. Amen Per Harling
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE - Businesses and Agriculture/Civic Organizations
Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ in his earthly life shared our toil and hallowed our labor: Be present with your people where thy work; make those who carry on the industries and commerce of this community responsive to your will. Guide us in the work we do, that we may do it not for self alone, but for the common good; and, as we seek a proper return for our own labor, make us mindful of the rightful aspirations of other workers, and arouse our concern for those who are out of work. We thank you for making the earth fruitful, so that it might produce what is needed for life: Bless those who work in the fields; give us seasonable weather; and grant that we may all share the fruits of the earth, rejoicing in your goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Father of all, look upon the members of our many area organizations and clubs and help them to grow in your love. Be pleased with their work and service as it helps to strengthen and build our community. Let us always be mindful of the principles for which they stand. Give your peace to all and help us to work together in harmony. Father, we ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen
PALMER PARKING LOT - For the Human Family
O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect or hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in the bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations, races and our community may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
We take for granted The refuse collectors and road sweepers, The delivery of letters and packages, The corner shop and the supermarket, The street lights and telephone lines, Our family and friends, And you, Lord. So today we stop on this busy street, To do nothing more Than simply take it in, and say A very heartfelt “Thank you, Lord!” As we go back to the daily round of life, may what we have shared here transform all we do and experience there. In the name of Christ. AMEN

Strasboug Cathedral

Lighting Candles in Church

The sight of burning votive candles is common in many churches. Often the first thing anyone notices upon entering a church is a stand of votive candles. Usually it has several rows of glass candle holders and a place to make an offering. The stands are usually placed in devotional spaces, often before statues of saints or at shrines, and usually in a quiet corner. We often see people making an offering, taking the candle, lighting it, saying a prayer, and placing the candle back in the stand. So what is this all about? How did this tradition get its start?

According to A Handbook of Catholic Sacramentals, by Ann Ball (Our Sunday Visitor Books), the practice of lighting candles probably has its origins in the custom of burning lights at the tombs of the martyrs in the catacombs. The lights burned as a sign of solidarity with Christians still on earth. Because the lights continually burned as a silent vigil, they became known as vigil lights.

Vigil Lights (from the Latin vigilia, which means "waiting" or "watching") are traditionally accompanied by prayers of attention or waiting. Another common type of candle offering is the votive light. Such an offering is indicative of seeking some request from the Lord. Lighting a votive candle is a way of extending one's prayer and showing solidarity with the person on whose behalf the prayer is offered.

Each time we light a candle, we are called to remember that it is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who is the True Light and that He and only He will grant us True Life. Christ said, “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) Jesus Christ IS that light. He is the light that shines for us in the midst this world of darkness. And anyone who follows Him need not fear that darkness because we know that Christ will always shine for us, leading us in the Way to the Father.

Every candle that we light should also be a time of prayer in which we reflect upon the salvation that the Lord has worked for us and also a time of recommitment, where we renew our Baptismal vows and that we, as children of God, are called to “Let our light so shine before all people, that they may see [our] good works and give glory to [our] Father who is in Heaven.” (Matt. 5:16)

In lighting our candles, the first thing we do is to make an offering for the candle. Everything that we have is from God and the first step is to give back to Him for all of His many blessings. The next step is to venerate the icons, if any, that surround the devotional space, that help us lift our prayers to God on high. Next, we light the candle, remembering all of our loved ones who are sick or who have passed into the next life, or who we just want to pray for, and beseech God to have mercy on them.

Lastly, we quietly say “Lord have mercy,” for our own selves, repenting for our own sins while at the same time “re-igniting” our own flame and recommitting our whole life to God. Thus we begin again to live as light, helping others see the Way in a world of darkness. In the lighting of candles we remember and truly live the words of Our Lord: "I am the Light of the World."


1954–2014: Help Us Celebrate 60 Years of Worship and Service