Celebrating St. Brigid at Agape

On a cold February evening, with a layer of fresh snow covering the frozen ground, friends of Agape, some long-time and some new, gathered to celebrate St. Brigid of Kildare, patron saint of poetry, Ireland, and midwives. Suzanne led us through a ceremony honoring Brigid as we stood beside Agape’s straw bale house built in honor of the Irish saint, and we wove our way through the dark, luminaries lighting our way, to a blazing fire as we remembered the ancient Celtic tradition that nuns in Brigid’s monastery kept a sacred flame burning always.
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Suzanne leads us in honoring St. Brigid

 
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The Agape bonfire

              Since Brigid is associated with the arts, Scottish musicians Fred and Rose Higgins came to entertain us with their traditional Irish and Scottish folk tunes, playing the concertina, mandolin, violin, and fiddle.
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Fred and Rose Higgins entertain the crowd with Irish and Scottish folk music

              Brayton led a crowd that was very eager to sing along with a rendition “The Green Fields of France.” You almost felt transported to a traditional Irish pub!
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Brayton leading the crowd to a rendition of “The Green Fields of France”

              Agape welcomed Veteran for Peace Nicole Waybright for the first time, who read a passage from her newly published memoir, Long Way Out – A young woman’s journey of self-discovery and how she survived the Navy’s modern cruelty at sea scandal. Of the evening, Nicole says “It was such a privilege to be invited to read at Agape and to experience Brigid Night. It was an amazing night, and I appreciate the hard work and planning that you and Brayton – and all the others – did to make the night come together.”
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First-time Agape guest Nicole Waybright reads from her new book

                  Agape welcomed back veterans Chris and Eric Wasileski, who shared their own poetry.
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Veteran Chris

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Veteran Eric Wasileski

                  In keeping with the poetry theme, the crowd was lucky to have among us poet Molly Scott, who not only recited her poetry, but enchanted us with a beautiful traditional Irish tune.
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Pioneer Valley poet Molly Scott enchants us with an Irish tune

                  And, as always at Agape, the younger generation was represented.
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Suzanne and Brayton’s grand daughter Olivia soaks in the evening

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Mission Council member Rachel Ravina shares a poem

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Greta from the Agape office reads from William Butler Yeats

                  After a prayer in the Agape chapel, we enjoyed a delicious vegetarian pot-luck dinner!
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Omar Mahmood from Mosel, Iraq, enjoys a plate of Agape food

   
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The delicious vegetarian pot-luck spread, courtesy of Agape resident and gourmet cook Dixon George and all of the Brigid Night guests

                  It was a spiritual night to remember, full of music, poetry and sharing. Truly a wonderful way to honor an amazing Saint and woman. Many thanks to Claudia McNeill who provided these wonderful photos!

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