Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Celtic Christian Trvia Pt. 2

Interesting Facts about the Early Celtic Christians

6) The Celtic Church was using a rudimentary creed as a statement of faith before the Nicene Creed.

https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQl2_eWGzLtrYN0IRoKU-I6JxKoSPsT7r7a9TP0LAXlTLGdMf6X7) The Celtic Church was the first church to use communion bread stamped with the symbol of the cross.  The Book of Kells depicts that circular bread stamped with a cross was in use in Celtic Churches by the 7th century.  Communion was given and received in both kinds (unlike Roman Church).  It was received while standing (This was consistent with the early church.  The Apostolic Constitution forbade kneeling on Sunday because that was the day Christ rose and was a time of joy) and communicants drank from a common cup.  Some Celtic Churches, ie Mozabarec and Brittish, took bread from pan and intincted and placed it in the mouth.  Broken bread on a pan in the shape of a cross which was the origin of the Celtic Cross.

8) Since the Celtic Church's roots were from Judaic-Essene traditions  they looked to Leviticus 21:10 for their definition of the priestly functions and anointed the heads and hands of their priests (Gildas wrote about this practice).  This was true in all the Celtic nations of Britain, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Gaul and the Basque lands.  The Roman Church would not begin anointing as a part of ordination until the 9th century.

9) The Celtic Church maintained a reverence for nature.  John Chrysostom, Patriarch of Constantinople wrote that the church was our mother, but the Celtic Church felt that the earth was our mother and God our father.  They looked to the passage in Genesis where God created Adam from the earth.  The church developed the blessing of animal rites which are used in other churches liturgies today.  It is believed the rite is attributed to St. Columcille that is based on a story recorded by St. Adamnan.  St. Adamnan describes how, in the month of May in the year 597, Columcille, then 77 years old, was  taken in a cart to visit the monks who were at work.  He told them that his end  was drawing near, and blessed them.  On the Saturday after that, he and his  personal attendant Diarmait went out for a short walk, but Columcille's  age and state of health prevented him going further.  He told the sorrowing Diarmait that he  expected to die that night.  On the way back to the monastery he sat down to  rest.  While he was resting, he was approached by one of the monastery's horses, a loyal work-horse that carried the milk-pails  from the booley (cow-pen) to the monastery.  The horse placed its head in the saint's bosom and seemed to weep, as  if it knew that its master would soon be taken from it.  Diarmait came over and wanted to lead the animal away, but Columcille would not allow this.  Columcille felt that the horse sensed that he was going to die, and wanted to comfort him, or perhaps say good-bye.  Columcille allowed the horse to nuzzle against him and then he blessed the horse.

10) The Celtic and Gallican Churches developed the first complete prayer books in their vernacular language and also the first lectionary for readings.

(courtesy of Rt. Rvd. John Dillard of Saint Andrews Church)

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