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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Sweet silence

Celtic worship is 'a wonderful way' to start the week

Although they're careful not to slip on the patina of ice covering the sidewalks of St. Paul, Minn., the people walk briskly and talk eagerly as they approach the church door. But as they enter, their steps slow and their voices quiet.

Jason Hilde lights a candle at the Celtic worship service"Have you been here before?" a greeter asks. "No? OK, take this candle, light it from the large one in the center and place it in the sand." The white sand, holding more than 100 lit tapers, rests in a box shaped like a Celtic cross.

This is Celtic worship at Pilgrim Lutheran Church — a perfect fit for an area heavy with Irish and Scottish influence. Worship doesn't start until 6:51 p.m., but there's plenty to occupy the souls of those who pack the pews. Candles. Soft music of cello, drums, Northumbrian smallpipes, recorders and whistles. And sweet silence.


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