Beltane Confirmation

event_note May 8, 2023

In a beautiful and complimentary juxtaposition, Salal + Cedar council member Francis Hart D’Emilio was confirmed in the Anglican church on the morning of Saturday May 6 and led the community in a celebration of the cross quarter day Beltane or May Day, in the afternoon. The outdoor service included fire, mead, a may crown, and was attended by a very enthusiastic Anna’s hummingbird. We share a collection of photos for your enjoyment and the order of service for you to adapt and use.


Host/Leader will lay out a simple elemental altar: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water will be represented thusly in a cross formation:

Earth: Stone
Water: Vessel filled with water
Air: A feather (most likely from a woodpecker)
Fire: Candle

Cauldron with a charcoal burner for burning resin-based incense in the centre

Wine and Bread will also be present on the altar. Because we are not having a Eucharist/Communion, the bread,  water,  and wine will be offered to the Earth.

Territorial Acknowledgement

All of Metro “Vancouver” is unceded, stolen Coast Salish land. Most of our work takes place on the ancestral and occupied territories of the x?m??k??y??m (Musqueam), s?wx?wú7mesh (Squamish), and s?l?ilw??ta?? (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations. The Metro Vancouver area is home to nine First Nations communities who have been stewards of this land since time immemorial and whose Rights and Title have never been extinguished: the Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, Tsawwassen, Katzie, Kwantlen, Kwikwetlem, Matsqui, and Semiahmoo First Nations. As advocates of justice, solidarity, and respect, we must always remind ourselves of the historical injustice of colonialism that makes our gathering here possible, and to redress the injustices that continue to pervade our institutions, society, and culture. It is our responsibility to each other and to future generations to go beyond land acknowledgements and confront the ongoing systems of colonial oppression and exploitation in Canada.

Intro to Salal + Cedar’s Work

Through outdoor worship, we seek transformative encounters with the species and geography of the Fraser River to the Salish Sea basin and the wider Cascadia bioregion. We explore wilderness, sustainability, and justice themes in Christian scriptures and Anglican social teaching, and we learn about our roots and roles as individuals and as a church, in the multi-racial, labour, and Indigenous-Settler history of lower-mainland British Columbia.

Check-in – names, pronouns, access needs

Host/Leader lights a candle, incense should already be burning


The Beltane Blessing
Originally from the Carmina Gadelica I, 183–185
Taken from Esther de Waal, editor, The Celtic Vision, pp. 26–27

Bless, O Threefold true and bountiful,
Myself, my spouse, and my children,
My tender children and their beloved mother at their head.
On the fragrant plain, on the gay mountain sheiling,
On the fragrant plain, on the gay mountain sheiling.

Everything within my dwelling or in my possession,
All kine and crops, all flocks and corn,
From Hallow Eve to Beltane Eve,
With goodly progress and gentle blessing,
From sea to sea, and every river mouth,
From wave to wave, arid base of waterfall.

Be the Three Persons taking possession of all to me belonging,
Be the sure Trinity protecting me in truth;
Oh! satisfy my soul in the words of Paul,
And shield my loved ones beneath the wing of Thy glory,
Shield my loved ones beneath the wing of Thy glory.

Bless everything and every one,
Of this little household by my side;
Place the cross of Christ on us with the power of love,
Till we see the land of joy,
Till we see the land of joy.

What time the kine shall forsake the stalls,
What time the sheep shall forsake the folds,
What time the goats shall ascend to the mount of mist,
May the tending of the Triune follow them,
May the tending of the Triune follow them.

Thou being who didst create me at the beginning,
Listen and attend me as I bend the knee to Thee,
Morning and evening as is becoming in me,
In Thine own presence, O God of life,
In Thine own presence, O God of life.
(A shieling is a hut or collection of huts on a seasonal pasture high in the hills, once common in wild or sparsely populated places in Scotland. A Kine is a group of cows

Intro to Beltane

A major Celtic festival to mark the beginning of summer. The festival is associated with fertility. In Scottish Gaelic Bealtuinn means May Day, and in modern Irish Gaelic Beltaine is the name for the month of May.

Beltane is a Cross-quarter- halfway between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice

Gospel Readingtwo readers (one read, pause for reflection, second re-read)

 John 14:1-14

Reader:  The Gospel of Christ

All: Praise be to you Lord Jesus Christ

Time for Contemplative Reflection:

The assembled people are invited to take some time for reflection in the garden however that feels right for them. When people come back, Host/Leader will offer them some small bits of paper to write down something they would like God’s help with. What would you like to bring into existence or let go of? Write that thing down, and drop the little paper into the fire.

After folks have dropped their papers in the fire…

Prayers of the People 

In peace, we pray to you, Lord God.


For all people in their daily life and work;

For our families, friends, and neighbours, and for all those who are   alone.

For this community and the world;

            For all who work for justice, freedom, and peace.

For the just and proper use of your creation:

            For the victims of hunger, fear, injustice, and oppression

For all who are in danger, sorrow, or any kind of trouble;

            For those who minister to the sick, the friendless, and the poor.

For the peace and unity of the Church of God;

            For all who proclaim the gospel, and all who seek the truth.

For John, our bishop, and for all bishops and other ministers;

            For all who serve God in Their Church.

For our own needs and the needs of others.

For everyone who is homeless, refugees, internally displaced persons, people living on the streets and in insecure housing; we pray for and honour the life and memory of Jordan Neely, a talented young black man who, for expressing that he was hungry and tired, was murdered by a group of strangers in New York City on a subway car this past Monday. May his memory be a blessing. We pray for help as we confront organized evil inherent in this capitalist system, which has always sought to divide the people with racism, classism, and fear of the Other.

We pray for members of the Salal + Cedar community (individuals and particular situations can be named aloud)

We pray for all victims of sexual violence, especially those harmed by the church; the people of Sudan; the rights, safety and wholeness of trans and non-binary persons, especially femmes of colour; the worker injured at a Trans Mountain pipeline worksite; for justice for all workers;

We pray with and for: white-crowned sparrows, epidonax flycatchers, ruby-crowned kinglets, dark-eyed juncos, steller’s jays, and black bears. Amen

Host/Leader extinguishes candle and cauldron.
Host/Leader, or any other person pours out the water and wine and places the bread at the foot of a tree.

May the blessing of the Creator be always with us.
Thanks be to God!