Why Celtic Easter? The beauty for many of us in Celtic Christian spirituality is the confluence of contemplative prayer, creational participation and worship of the Divine Creator who is present in all of life. That sense of being rooted in an indigenous Christian practice that is unique to these truly amazing islands of ours, brings with it an intimacy our wider society appears to be lacking. The closeness of Celtic Christianity to the rhythms of nature, the seasons of the year and the pastoral agrarian wholesomeness of life, brings with it a depth of peace and fulfillment to our humanity that continually refreshes and reintroduces us to our true selves in God. Is this a romantic vision of life? Yes it is and unashamedly so. In a world of constant noise, economic stress, overwhelming stories of violence and the normalisation of political corruption in the name of economic expedience, rediscovering the simple beauty of going slow, enjoying love and life and allowing our lives and communities to be filled out with a Spirit of Holiness and wholesomeness is perhaps the greatest witness we can offer to an imploding culture.
Since 2008, we have chosen to celebrate Easter on the calendar that the British and Irish church would have originally done. Namely the Eastern Orthodox dating. Why? Certainly not because we wish to reopen the debates at Whitby (AD664), or as an expression that we in some way have a higher revelation than others. We have celebrated Easter on the original British date as a way of thanking and rejoicing in the sacrifice and example that those early Celtic pioneers and Saints have set us. They lived in violent times, in a land wrecked by petty politics, tribal feuding, constant migration and its ensuing ethnic and racial tensions. A land of extreme wealth in the hands of a few, and a down trodden hidden majority. Not unlike some of the problems we face today.
Maybe we need to get off the rhythms of distraction, confusion and co-option that so pervade our day to day culture? For us Celtic Easter has become a simple way of annually marking out that we must live by a different rule, pattern, rhythm. It is symbolic of a desire to begin the peregrination away from a culture that venerates selfishness, narcissism, and consumption as human virtues.
The opportunity for the British Church (in its broadest sense) is the opportunity of prophetic witness. A witness not of words or the hollow rhetorical battle of apologetic’s, but a witness of counter cultural living. An affirmation that we are friends of the poor, friends of creation, and friends of God. A commitment to reversing the curse of secular materialism, through living sustainably and encountering the Creator in the unexplainable mystery of unknowing.
The Society of St. Columba seeks to embrace an old ecclesiology rooted in the soil of this land. A Monastic Church that prays, works and reads and in this deliberately simple approach to the spiritual life, we pray that our hearts can be captivated and opened to the potential that can be found in the journey towards union with God.
Join us at Chanctonbury Ring car park at 18.30 for our short pilgrimage to the Ring. For more details please visit our Events Page