The Ord Brighideach

The Ord Brighideach

A Religious Order

The Ord Brighideach (the Gaelic would be pronounced roughly as “ORD BREE-jahk”) is a religious order dedicated to the pagan goddess/ Catholic Saint Brighid. It's not exactly the case that the Ord Brighideach is pagan, as a number of members are either Christo-Pagan or liberal Catholics. Most of the members, though, are probably pagan, including Wiccans and Celtic Reconstructionists. One strength of the order is this lack of doctrinal rigidity, a willingness to welcome all who feel the call of Brighid regardless of their individual interpretations of exactly who or what Brighid is.

Members of the order commit to tending a “virtual perpetual flame” in imitation of the eternal flame once tended by the Brigidine sisters of Kildare. Each dedicant works one shift every nineteen days, lighting a candle or a lamp for a day and usually spending part of that day in prayer or meditation. When you join the order, they send you a little candle that was previously lit from the flame currently tended by the revived Brigidine sisters of Kildare. You can use this candle for your shift if you want to, but it's not required.

 

You don't have to actually keep a flame burning for the full twenty-four hours of your shift- even five minutes is acceptable- but many of the members try to. This emphasis on pure worship and common purpose, without any need for a common doctrine, makes the Ord Brighideach something special. Pagans who feel a need for a deeper devotional experience should take note of this long-established and successful model.