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Celtic Way of Prayer, The

Product no.: 0-385-49374-6
An enlightening glimpse at the history, folklore, and liturgy of the Celtic people.

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Publisher's Synopsis

Esther de Waal introduces readers to monastic prayer and praise (the foundation stone of Celtic Christianity), early Irish litanies, medieval Welsh praise poems, and the wealth of blessings derived from an oral tradition that made prayer a part of daily life. Through this invigorating book, readers enter a world in which ritual and rhythm, nature and seasons, images and symbols play an essential role. A welcome contrast to modern worship, Celtic prayer is liberating and, like a living spring, forever fresh.


"It isn't just that Celtic spirituality with its loving immediacy is appealing, it is that it is necessary at this time of violence and indifference and greed in the Western world. It can indeed be our salvation."      ~L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time

"In this beautiful book, retreat leader de Waal recovers the spirituality of Celtic religion and integrates it into a kind of guidebook. Through Celtic poems, songs, Irish litanies and medieval Welsh praise poems, de Waal conducts the reader on what she calls a 'peregrinatio', or journey into prayer."      ~Publishers Weekly


"The Celtic countries lay on the edge of the known Western world, largely outside the Roman Empire, a people lacking the social molds and mental framework and cultural infrastructure the Roman Empire brought elsewhere. These were a rural people, living close to the earth, close to stone and water, and their religious worship was shaped by their awareness of these elemental forces. They were a rural people for whom the clan, the tribe, and kinship were important, a close-knit people who thought of themselves in a corporate way as belonging to one another. They were a warrior people, a people whose myths and legends told them of heroes and heroic exploits.

Above all, they were a people of the imagination, whose amazing artistic achievements in geometric design, filigree work, and enameling can be seen in La Tene art, and whose skill with words (spoken not written) flowered in poetry and storytelling. This was a society in which the poet held a highly respected place, played a professional role, and where storytelling was taken seriously and demanded many years of study and learning. All this was taken up by a Christianity that was not afraid of what it found but felt that it was natural to appropriate it into the fullness of Christian living and praying. So the Celtic way of prayer is a reflection of this: It is elemental, corporate, heroic, imaginative. This is its gift to us."

Author de Waal, Esther
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 234 pp.
Publisher Image Books 1999
Browse these categories as well: Celtic Culture and Customs, Western Prayer and Contemplation, Mystic and Esoteric Christianity

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