Ancient Celtic Traditions in the Modern Church

May 10, 2008

A form of worship unlike traditional Christian liturgy is being practiced in church communities around the United States. The ancient traditions of Celtic Christianity, practiced in Ireland from the 5th until the 12th century are being incorporated into worship services using versions of ancient Celtic prayers. The Celtic Christian Church is an Old Catholic Church which celebrates the Celtic Rite, and is inclusive. 

Celtic Christians aren’t Catholic in the traditional sense, although they are Catholic. They differ from Roman Catholics since both men and women priests are allowed to marry, all baptized Christians may receive communion, and bishops are allowed to marry. Celtic Christians aren’t in full communion with Rome, neither are they Protestant. Celtic spirituality is central to the worship service and the traditional sacraments are celebrated.

The Celtic Christian Church is drawing more former Roman Catholics; especially women, since they can attend seminary and be ordained as priests. However, if you’re interested in attending a Celtic Christian church, it’s not easy to find one. There are only a few communities scattered around the U.S., one located in the Poconos of Pennsylvania., which has established several Cell communities. A listng of the communities is found on the Celtic Christian Church website (

To learn more about Celtic Christianity, the following resources provide a wealth of information. St. Mark’s Episcopal church in Highland, Maryland has a page devoted to Celtic Christianity with special emphasis on what modern churches can learn from the Celtic Church:

Books on Celtic Christianity:

Celtic Christian Music:

Celtic Christian Webring:  




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