The Fifth Century Celtic Church was Orthodox

A Glimpse of the 5th Cent. Celtic Church

Following the example of blessed Job, no poor person ever left her presence empty-handed. Indeed, she even gave to the poor the foreign and exotic robes of the illustrious Bishop Conleth, which he wore when celebrating the mysteries at the altar on feasts of the Lord and vigils of the Apostles. When the time of the feast returned again, and for the high priest of the people to change into vestments, St. Brigit [of Kildare], who had already given them another set of vestments, similar in both weave and color, which she had just received from Christ, whom – as a beggar- she had clothed, draped over a two-wheeled chariot. She had willingly given the other vestments to the poor, and now received these just when they were needed. For as she was the living and most blessed member of the highest head, she was able to bring about all that she wished.

Nor should we fail to mention the miracle during the rebuilding of the church in which the bodies of that glorious pair, Bishop Conleth and this holy virgin Brigit, rest to the right and the left of the ornate altar, in shrines decorated with different kinds of gold, silver, gems, and precious stones, with crowns of gold and silver suspended above them.

In order to accommodate increasing numbers of the faithful of both sexes, the church is spacious in its ground area imposing in its height. It is decorated with painted pictures and contains three chapels within it, which are of a good size and divided from each other by wooden partitions but sharing the single roof of the cathedral church; one of theses decorated partitions which is painted with images and draped with wall hangings traverses the eastern part of the church from one wall to the other and has a doorway at either end. By the door on the right the archbishop enters the sanctuary and draws near the altar where he offers the sacrifice together with his monastic chapter and those who have been appointed to the sacred mysteries.  (Cogitosus, The Life of St. Brigit the Virgin)

Comments

  1. Here we can see an episcopate, vestments, miracle-working, relics, reliquaries, icons, iconastasis, altar, eucharist as sacrifice and royal doors all in an ancient Celtic church.

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