Questions I Receive

 I recently received another question about Celtic Holy Communion services. This was my answer:

 If you belong to a church with bishops, only an ordained person can preside at a Eucharist. Whatever church you belong to you may, however, hold a Celtic Agape. 'The Celtic Prayer Book volume 3: Healing the Land: natural seasons, sacraments and special services' has an Agape on page 174.

 If you are a responsible person in leadership in a Free or Independent church  or Christian network you may lead a Celtic Communion Service. There are three services from page 135.

 Some ordained ministers weave elements of a Celtic Communion into the statutory service as ‘Enrichments’. Some are permitted to preside at such a service so long as it is in addition to and not a replacement of a statutory Sunday service.

I also receive questions about the background to Saint Aidan, who is growing in popularity. My book ‘The Saint Aidan Way of Mission: Celtic insights for a post-Christian world’ (BRF) contains everything that the monk historian Bede writes about Aidan. Its eight chapters pursue eight pathways of mission and practice that flow out of his spirituality as lived today.

‘Aidan of Lindisfarne: Irish Flame warms a new world’ (Wipf & Stock) is a historical novel, but is based on extensive research and contains extended historical notes. Although some story lines are fictional, it contains everything that we know about Aidan, and much that we know about the Ireland he came from (Part One), the Iona Monastery which sent him (Part Two) and the Northumbria to which he brought his Irish Mission (Part Three).

Although the storyline contains some fiction, it takes Aidan through every stage of Joseph  Campbell's template of the Hero's Journey:
1) It starts with mundane everyday life.

2) The hero is faced with a challenge: to become a monk

3) He attempts to refuse the call because of fear and infatuation with a girl.

4) He meets with a mentor (spiritual foster mother) who advises and helps him.

5) He crosses the threshold into adventure.

6) He learns the rules of his new world. During this time, he endures tests of strength of will, meets friends, and comes face to face with foes.

7) Setbacks occur, sometimes causing the hero to try a new approach. He experiences a major hurdle or obstacle - a mid-life crisis.

8) After surviving and overcoming he begins his journey back to his ordinary life a deeper and wiser person.

9) He enters into his supreme vocation

10) - The hero faces a final test where everything is at stake and he must use everything he has learned to experience a kind of resurrection.

11) He brings his knowledge or the "elixir" back to the ordinary world, where he applies it to help all who remain there.




Posted at 11:27am on 4th January 2019
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