I arise today, |
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of the sun, radiance of the moon.
Splendor of fire, speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind, depth of sea,
Stability of earth and firmness of rock.
I arise today,
Through God's strength to pilot me:
God's might to uphold me, God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me, God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me, God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me, God's shield to protect me.
From the snares of devils, from temptation of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
Afar and near, alone and in a multitude
My Druid is Christ, the son of God,
Christ, Son of Mary, the Great Abbot,
The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
I would like to have the men of Heaven in my own house:
With vats of good cheer laid out for them.
I would like to have the three Marys, their fame is so great.
I would like people from every corner of Heaven.
I would like them to be cheerful in their drinking,
I would like to have Jesus too here amongst them.
I would like a great lake of beer for the King of Kings,
I would like to be watching Heaven's family, drinking it through all eternity.
attributed to St. Brigid
431 Palladius sent to Ireland by Pope Celestine
387-461 Life of Patrick
432 Start of Patrick's mission to the Irish
(the same year that Mary is declared the "Mother of God" by the Council of Ephesus)
445 Armagh founded
452-524 Life of Brigid
486-578 Life of Brendan the Voyager (Clonfert)
500 Monastery of Kildare founded by Brigid
512-545 Life of Ciaran (Kieran)
544 Monastery of Clonmacnoise founded by Ciaran
520 Monastery of Monasterboice founded
521-597 Life of Columba (Colmcille)
546 Monastery of Derry founded by Columba
560 Monastery of Kells and Durrow founded by Columba
563 Columba founds Iona
558-618 Life of Kevin
590 Glendalough founded by Kevin
c 600 Book of Durrow
c 600-1100 Celtic High Cross building
664 Synod of Whitby brings Celtic Church into conformity with Rome
700-800 Irish Monasticism reaches its zenith.
795 First reports of Viking invasions
800-847 Vikings raid continually, setting up settlements on the coasts
c 800 Book of Kells
c 900-1100 Round tower building
Features of Celtic life:
-iron-age cattle-culture-largely agrarian economy.
-which was a nomadic, warrior, heroic,tribal, hierarchical and aristocratic society.
-fosterage of children.
-oral word-based culture; most of the people illiterate but had great memorization skills.
-they loved to hear great stories.
-greater equality for women.
-a sense of closeness and immanence between the natural and supernatural.
-a mandate for hospitality.
-emphasis on family and kinship ties
-high respect for the learned and the artisans, with a strong politically powerful group, the "Aos Dana", composed of druids, brehons, poets and bards.
-payment of fines to forgive crimes.
-Roman historians said that they were boastful threateners, given to loud bombastic self-dramatization, yet quick of mind, and naturally talented in music and art.
-the calendar was divided into two parts, the light part and the dark part, with four great feast days marking the year:
Samhain (November 1) (our Halloween) which was the Celtic New Year, marks the end of the harvest, and the beginning of the dark half of the year. All lights are extinguished until relit by a central bonfire. This day is a "gap" in time and consciousness when travel to the other world and through time was possible.
Imbolc (February 1) (our Ground Hog Day) St.Bridget's Day, which marks the first day of Spring and the middle of the dark half, the time for the reemergence of green things. This marks the first flowing of milk in the udders of the ewes. Associated with the goddess Bríd.
Bealtaine (May 1) The first day of the light part of the year. Cattle are driven through great bonfires to protect them and ensure fertility. Young couples jump through the fire also.
Lúghnasadh (August 1) marks the beginning of harvest and celebrates the victory of the god Lúgh against the earth spirits that would keep the harvest. Lúgh is very much a "Christ" figure in that he died for the sake of humans, pierced and hanging from a tree.
Features of Celtic Christianity:
-love of nature and a passion for the wild and elemental as a reminder of God's gift.
-love and respect for art and poetry.
-love and respect for the great stories and "higher learning".
-sense of God and the saints as a continuing, personal, helpful presence.
-theologically orthodox, yet with heavy emphasis on the Trinity, and a love and respect for Mary, the Incarnation of Christ, and Liturgy.
-religious practice characterized by a love for tough penitential acts, vigils, self-exile, pilgrimages, and resorting to holy wells, mountains, caves, ancient monastic sites, and other sacred locations.
-no boundaries between the sacred and the secular
-unique Church structure:
-there were originally no towns, just nomadic settlements, hence the church was more monastic rather than diocesan, resulting in quite independent rules and liturgies.
-also, Ireland was very isolated and it was hard to impose outside central Roman authority.
-influenced much by middle-eastern and coptic monasticism.
-they celebrated Easter and Lent according to the ancient calendar system.
-Irish tonsure shaved the front of the head (like the druids).
-abbots had more power than the bishops.
-monasteries often huge theocratic villages often associated with a clan with the same kinship ties, along with their slaves, freemen, with celibate monks, married clergy, professed lay people, men and women living side by side. (Sometimes monasteries "raided" other monasteries, esp. during the period of the Anglo-Norman invasion.)
-while some monasteries were in isolated places, many more were were at the crossroads of provincial territories.
-women had more equal footing in ancient Irish law, thus had more equal say in church government. (Did St. Bridget receive Holy Orders and act as an Abbot?)
-developed the idea of having a "soul friend" (anmchara) to help in spiritual direction.
-invented personal confession.
-monks traveled as "Peregrinari Pro Christ" (White Martyrdom).
-many pagan practices were "Baptized" such as St.Stephen's Day, and the resorting to holy wells, and many monasteries were built on pagan sacred site (as evident in the names Derry, and Durrow).
Products of the Celtic Church:
St.Patrick, "Aze Head""reptile slayer"= the deer, Mongonus Secatus Patricius, actually a Romanized Brit
St.Bridget,"bright shining one" Abbess of Kildare = Bríd, Goddess of Knowledge and Life, protector of the family against want and need, heroic generosity.
St.Kevin of Glendalough "Valley of the two lakes"=in touch with the earth and the elements
St.Columba of Iona (Columcille) "church dove"= warrior monk and Druid poet
St.Ciaran, founder of Clonmacnoise, seat of learning on the Shannon which lasted 1,000 years.
St.Columbanus= relentless missionary
St. Brendan "Mobi" "Fair drop"
Selected Readings on Celtic Spirituality
Ó Ríordáin C.Ss.R, John J., Irish Catholic Spirituality , The Columba Press, Dublin
Sellner, Edward, Wisdom of the Celtic Saints, Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, Indiana
Bamford, Christopher and Marsh, William Parker, Celtic Christianity: Ecology and Holiness, Lindisfarne Press, Great Barrington, Mass.
Cahill, Thomas, How the Irish Saved Civilization, Doubleday, New York, New York
Allchin, A.M. and de Waal, Esther, editors Daily Readings from Prayers and Praises in the Celtic Tradition, Templegate Publishers, Springfield, Illinois.
Schmiel, Mary Aileen, The Finest Music in the World: Exploring Celtic Spiritual Legacies from Western Spirituality, edited by Matthew Fox, Bear and Company, Santa Fe, New Mexico
ó Tuama, Sean and Kinsella, Thomas, An Duanaire-- An Irish Anthology Poems of the Dispossessed 1600-1900, The University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia
D'Arcy, Mary Ryan, The Saints of Ireland, Irish American Cultural Institute, St. Paul, Minnesota.
O'Donohue, John, Anam Chara,Bantam Press, New York, London, et al.
de Waal, Esther, God Under My Roof: Celtic Songs and Blessings, Paraclete Press, Orleans, Mass.
McCormick, Malachi, Columcille, The Stone Street Press, Staten Island, New York. Malachi makes beautiful hand-made books. He also has collections of Old Irish Monastic Prayers and a translation of the Deer's Cry of St.Patrick.
Fox, Matthew,editor, " Celtic Wisdom", a complete edition of Creation Spirituality Magazine, Vol. VII, Number 1, January 1991, Oakland CA.
Doyle, Dennis and Paula,Songs of Celtic Christianity , Mel Bay Publications, Pacific, MO, 1995 with companion compact disk
Doyle, Dennis,Celtic Spirituality and Liturgy , an article in Parish Liturgy, March 1994, Amercan Catholic Press, So.Holland, Il.
Celtic Spirituality on the Internet
St.Patrick http://www.irelandnow.com/legends/patrick.htmlA short biography.
The Confessions of St.Patrick http://www.ccel.org/p/patrick/confession/confession.htmlSt.Patrick's own words translated from the original Latin.
The Carmina Gaedelica Online http://www.smo.uhi.ac.uk/gaidhlig/corpus/Carmina/Ancient Celtic Prayers collected by Alexander Carmichael
St.Ciaranhttp://www.hullp.demon.co.uk/SacredHeart/saint/StCiaranofClonmacnoise.htm Ciaran (Kieran)
The Book of Kells http://www.tcd.ie/library/kells.htmAt the Trinity College Library. Sample images are at http://www.tcd.ie/library/Shop/
Irish Manuscripts http://www.ucc.ie/celt/Irish manuscripts in digitized form.
Creating a Celtic Liturgy
closeness between God and nature
the four elements: fire, water, earth, air
respect for the "old wisdom", storytelling
human intimacy with God and the saints
importance of kinship and community
education (the Irish monks were the educators of Europe)
mission (the white martyrdom)
prayers for protection
love of the Mother of God
peace and justice
salmon fish of knowledge
shamrock the Trinity
fire new life, new fire of Easter
straw hand-woven cross St.Bridget, the eye of God
Art: banners can be made with images from:
the Book of Kells
or Celtic crosses
A Coloring Book of Ancient Ireland, Bellerophon Books 36 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
The Book of Kells Coloring Book, Geoff Greenham, Bookmark Publishers, P.O. Box 84, Cork, Ireland
Dover Clip Art Series: Celtic Borders, by Mallory Pearce ,Dover Publications, 31 East 2nd Street,Mineola, NY 11501
Patrick Gallagher, 24 Saint Mary's Street,Wharton, New Jersey 07885 201-361-3533
Patrick is an expert in Celtic Art and can steer you in the right direction for the use of symbols and can do original work for you.
Karen Burgess, 18 Rogers Street,Branford, CT.,06405,203-481-2638. She has done some beautiful Celtic religious art, has prints for sale and has done commissions. T-Shirts with her religious designs are available from All Ireland Graphics 800-752-4683.
instrumentation: in addition to the regular instruments, try to work in the uillean pipes, bag pipes, bodhrán, harp, whistle, and flute.
Vox de Neube and Good People All, Noírín ní Riain, available from Friends of Creation Spirituality, P.O.Box 19216, Oakland, CA 94619.
Caoineadh na Maighdine, Noírín ní Riain and the monks of Glenstal Abbey, Gael-Linn, 26 Murrean Square, Dublin 2, Ireland.
Ceol an Aifrinn (Mass Music), Irish language sung Mass by Sean ó Riada, record and music book can be had from Gael-Linn, 26 Murrean Square, Dublin 2, Ireland. The recording seems makeshift, but it gives you an idea of how some of the pieces should sound. I'd recommend you get the recording and then make your own arrangements. Includes: the hymns "Ag Críost an Síol"and "Bí a Iosa".
Dance?:not so radical as one would expect. Try traditional step-dancing, interpreting the scripture or for communion meditation.
Appreciate this resource? Check out Mr.Doyle's recordings:
Lovely peaceful all instrumental Celtic Harp with fiddle, oboe, tin whistle and guitar. Traditional Irish airs including "She Moves Through the Fair", "Wild Mountain Thyme", the "Wild Geese" and many more.
more about the cd
Examples of Celtic Christian Songs