Mid Week Reflection – Kevin of Coemgen

Coemgen of Glendalough (his old Irish name)

During this period of Celtic history, the term ‘saint’ was given to someone who was seen to be wise and a good Christian, a holy person. Upon their deaths the title saint was given to many Celtic nuns, monks, priests and bishops. It is hardly surprising that there are many saints who we known little about other than they probably took a certain path, spoke of Christ and sought to draw others to become followers of Jesus Christ, their Saviour. Along this journey they stopped and with others founded religious houses and when this was done sometimes found solitude in the life his own desert place.

Coemgen or to give him his more commonly known name, Kevin, was one such saint. But why should we stop, think of, commemorate Kevin of Coemgen? After all we know very little about him, he is one of the many who lived and died professing the faith and wanting to draw others to Christ. Yes, that is true but he is more than that. Are we not surrounded by a great crowd of witnesses (Hebrews12:1), do we not celebrate All Saints annually of November 1st? Is not Kevin one of the great crowd of witnesses? Kevin and his successors held the candle of faith across the centuries, a simple faith that held Christ as Lord. Glendalough became one of the most important monastic sites in Ireland.

There is still a church dedicated to St Kevin in the Glendalough area. It was built by the local community in the mid 19th century. It is a measure of the faith of the community that this work took place during awful years of the Irish Famine. The simple style of the church reflects the Celtic Monastic heritage.
Mass is celebrated each day.

There is also the Anglican Church of St John with weekly Sunday worship.

Glendalough, the glen of two lakes is one of the most beautiful areas in Ireland. Situated in the mountains of County Wicklow. Kevin established a monastery in the sixth century. The monastery city became one of the most significant religious centres in Europe. Kevin, like Declan needed solitude later in life and he created his own desert within Glendalough.

Visit the web sites Welcome to http://www.Glendalough.ie


Glendalough Visitor Centre

As we share a time of prayerful reflection let us hold all those who we know as the ‘great crowd of witnesses’ and who have drawn us to Christ and helped form our faith and spirituality.

+ In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

God our saviour,
look on this wounded world
in pity and in power;
hold us fast to your promises of peace
won for us by your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
(Common Worship Collect for Trinity 3)

The Word of the Lord
(Verses from the readings set for Trinity 3)

Psalm 107 (1-3,31,32)
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is gracious,
for his steadfast love endures for ever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say this,
those he redeemed from the hand of the enemy,
And gathered out of the lands from the east and from the west,
from the north and from the south.

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his goodness
and the wonders he does for his children.
Let them exalt him in the congregation of the people
and praise him in the council of the elders.


Mark (4.35-41)
. . . when evening had come, he (Jesus) said to them, ‘Let us go across to the other side.’ And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great gale arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?’ And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?’

Pause and let us be at peace and still as we hold and give thanks for ‘great crowd of witnesses’ who have walked before us:

Circle us Lord, with the arms of your presence, Keep peace within and all fear without; Your light to cheer and illumine the darkness,
Circle us Lord, in the arms of your love.
Circle us Lord, with the arms of your presence, Keep love within and all evil without; Your voice bring calm in all places of violence,
Circle us Lord, in the arms of your love.
Circle us Lord, with the arms of your presence, Keep joy within and all worries without; Your word inspire us and make us courageous,
Circle us Lord, in the arms of your love.
Circle us Lord, with the arms of your presence, Keep hope within and all suffering without; Your touch to heal us and bring us to wholeness,
Circle us Lord, in the arms of your love. (John Birch)

Lord, bless our journey through this coming week. May the pace be steady, paths made safe, no obstacles impede, and conversations with fellow travellers be fruitful and uplifting. Lord, bless our journey through this coming week (John Birch)

O God, whose beauty is beyond our imagining
and whose power we cannot comprehend:
show us your glory as far as we can grasp it,
and shield us from knowing more than we can bear
until we may look upon you without fear;
through Jesus Christ our Saviour.
(Common Worship Post Communion Prayer for Trinity 3)

Let us draw into our circle of prayer our:
Local church and its leaders
wider community
widening our circle to include:
those in government and positions of authority
those who are oppressed
those who are hungry and homeless
those who are ill
those facing death

Merciful Father, accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

The Lords Prayer

+ In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The blessing of the God of life be with us in our journeying. The blessing of the risen Christ be with us in our following. The blessing of the Holy Spirit be with us in our questioning. The blessing of the heavenly host be with us in our worshipping. Bless, O God, each hour, each day, that we shall walk with you. (John Birch)

(*John’s prayers are from ‘God beside us’ pages 18, 21 and 26)


Rev Derek Akker


Photo by P J K on Unsplash

Photo of Glendalough, County Wicklow, Ireland