Christianity and Early Irish Society

Christianity and Early Irish Society

n spite of the economic decline of the third century, Egypt and Syria still boasted splendid cities, fine palaces and luxurious villas, gymnasia and baths, all in sharp contrast to the hill cities and small enclosures of the Celtic peoples. Imperial trade was repressively controlled by the reforms of Diocletian, but industries were still carried on (though now the factories often executed orders for the state), and trade routes remained open. It would hardly be possible to imagine a sharper contrast to the insular society of the Celtic world Continue reading Christianity and Early Irish Society

“The Offering” or the Eucharistic Office of the Celtic Church

“The Offering” or the Eucharistic Office of the Celtic Church

The prayer of consecration being ended, the celebrant took three steps backward, bowing thrice in token of the three ways in which man sins namely, in –thought, in word, and in deed– and as he does this the “Miserere” (Psalm 51) is sung by all kneeling, followed by absolute silence. This was strictly enjoined throughout the service, because it was necessary that the mind of the celebrant should be undisturbed. Not only was he guilty of “violating the spiritual order and of being unacceptable to God,” but the sharp discipline of the church awaited him, if he stammered, or inadvertently misplaced or mispronounced a word. Continue reading “The Offering” or the Eucharistic Office of the Celtic Church