CATHOLIC – BUT NOT ROMAN
ORTHODOX - BUT NOT EASTERN
HOLY TRINITY CELTIC ORTHODOX CHURCH
A beacon of light shining amid the darkness of error
THE CELTIC ORTHODOX CHURCH IS UNIQUE – BY THE GRACE OF GOD
WE ARE THE ANCIENT CHURCH STILL LIVING
THE FAITH AS ONCE DELIVERED TO THE SAINTS
The Celtic Orthodox Church is a Western Rite expression of the Faith from the Johannine Branch of Christianity of those churches founded by the twelve apostles, (Gallican, Celtic, Mozabarec, Coptic, Byzantine.) The Roman Catholic Church is from the Pauline branch of the Church.
CELTIC ORTHODOXY ESTABLISHED IN 37 AD IS THE
OLDEST WESTERN RITE ORTHODOX CHURCH
THE ORIGIN OF NEO ORTHODOXY TERMED “CANONICAL”
THE ORIGIN OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX PATRIARCHATE
WE ARE PART OF BIBLICAL ORTHODOXY
The Celtic Orthodox Church is so
Ancient it demands respect, so
Traditional it is refreshing and so
Conservative it is reassuring
HOLY TRINITY CELTIC ORTHODOX CHURCH
THE MONASTIC CHAPEL FOR THE
CELTIC ORTHODOX BENEDICTINE FATHERS
1703 Macomber St., Toledo, Ohio 43606
SUNDAY MASS 9:00 A.M.
WESTERN RITE ORTHODOX SUNDAY MASS READINGS
ACCORDING TO THE REVISED JULIAN CALENDAR
Photos of the Monastery
THE VATICAN LIBRARY RECORDS THE
HISTORY OF THE CELTIC ORTHODOX CHURCH
CAN WE CONTACT THE DEAD AT WILL?
CONSIDER BECOMING AN OBLATE BENEDICTINE
BRENDAN THE NAVIGATOR AND OTHER CELTIC ORTHODOX
MONKS WERE IN AMERICA BEFORE CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS
ARE NOT LOOKING FOR A CHURCH THAT IS EASY TO LIVE BY;
THEY ARE LOOKING FOR A CHURCH THAT IS EASY TO DIE BY.
THE DIVINE SACRIFICE OF THE MASS IS THE SIGN OF GOD’S COVENANT IN CHRIST
A covenant is an agreement between two people and involves
promises on the part of each to the other. The concept of a covenant
between God and His people is one of the central themes of the Bible. In
the Biblical sense, a covenant implies much more than a contract or a
simple agreement between two parties.
The Old Testament contains many examples of covenants between people who
are related to each other as equals. For example, David and Jonathan entered
into a covenant because of their love for each other -- this agreement
bound each of them to certain responsibilities (1 Sam. 18:3)
The remarkable thing is that God is holy, omniscient, and omnipotent;
but He consents to enter into covenant with man, who is feeble, sinful,
and flawed. Jesus humbled Himself to become man so we could share in His divinity.
To understand the New Covenant in Christ we must understand the history
of Gods relationship with man. The understanding of the progression of history
is necessary to understand how the Divine Sacrifice of the Mass is the final and only
Sacrifice acceptable to God, an oblation of ourselves and a continuation of the
Sacrifice on the Cross, offered once.
GOD’S COVENANT WITH NOAH
Centuries before the time of Abraham, God made a covenant with Noah
assuring Noah that He would never again destroy the world by flood (Gen. 9)
Noah lived at a time when the whole earth was filled with violence and
corruption -- yet Noah did not allow the evil standdards of his day to
rob him of fellowship with God. He stood out as the only one who "walked
with God" (Gen. 6:9) as was also true of his great-grandfather Enoch (Gen. 5:22)
"Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations" (Gen. 6:9). This means he was
perfect in love for god and his fellowman. The Lord singled out Noah from
among all his contemporaries and chose him as the man to accomplish a great work.
When God saw the wickedness that prevailed in the world (Gen. 6:5)
He told Noah of His intention to destroy the ancient world by a universal flood.
God instructed Noah to build an ark (a large barge) in which he and his
family would survive the universal deluge. Noah believed God and
"according to all that God commanded him, so he did" (Gen. 6:22)
Noah is listed among the heroes of faith. "By faith Noah, being divinely
warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark
for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and
became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith" (Heb. 11:7)
With steadfast confidence in God, Noah started building the ark. During
this time, Noah continued to preach God's judgment and mercy, warning
the ungodly of their approaching doom. Peter reminds us of how God "did
not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a
preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the
ungodly" (2 Pet. 2:5)
Noah preached for 120 years, apparently without any converts. That is experienced
by many Priests today who find the world is not listening and is closed to the message
of Christ and His Church.
People continued in their evil ways and ignored his pleadings and
warnings until the flood overtook them. When the ark was ready, Noah
entered in with all kinds of animals "and the Lord shut him in" (Gen.
7:16) cut off completely from the rest of mankind.
Noah was grateful to the Lord who had delivered him from the flood.
After the flood, he built an altar to God (Gen. 8:20) and made a sacrifice, which
was accepted graciously, for in it "the Lord smelled a soothing aroma".
The Lord promised Noah and his descendants that He would never destroy
the world again with a universal flood (Gen. 9:15). The Lord made an everlasting
covenant with Noah and his descendants, establishing the rainbow as the sign
of His promise (Gen. 9:1-17).
Another part of the covenant involved the sanctity of human life, i.e.,
that "whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in
the image of God He made man" (Gen. 9:6).
Every time we see a rainbow today we are reminded of that agreement -- this
covenant has not been done away with. As long as God still sends rainbows after a storm,
capital punishment will still be a part of God's law for the human race.
GOD’S COVENANT WITH ABRAHAM
In making a covenant with Abraham, God promised to bless his
descendants and make them His own special people -- in return, Abraham
was to remain faithful to God and to serve as a channel through which
God's blessings could flow to the rest of the world (Gen. 12:1-3).
Abraham's story begins with his passage with the rest of his family from
Ur of the Chaldeans in ancient southern Babylonia (Gen. 11:31)
He and his family moved north along the trade routes of the ancient world and
settled in the prosperous trade center of Haran, several hundred miles to the northwest.
While living in Haran, at the age of 75, Abraham received a call from
God to go to a strange, unknown land that God would show him. The Lord
promised Abraham that He would make him and his descendants a great
nation (Gen. 12:1-3). The promise must have seemed unbelievable to Abraham
because his wife Sarah was childless (Gen. 11:30-31). Abraham obeyed God with
no hint of doubt or disbelief.
Abraham took his wife and his nephew, Lot, and went toward the land that
God would show him. Abraham moved south along the trade routes from
Haran, through Shechem and Bethel, to the land of Canaan. Canaan was a
populated area at the time, inhabited by the war-like Canaanites; so,
Abraham's belief that God would ultimately give this land to him and his
descendants was an act of faith.
The circumstances seemed quite difficult, but Abraham's faith in God's
promises allowed him to trust in the Lord. In Genesis 15, the Lord
reaffirmed His promise to Abraham. The relationship between God and
Abraham should be understood as a covenant relationship -- the most
common form of arrangement between individuals in the ancient world. In
this case, Abraham agreed to go to the land that God would show him (an
act of faith on his part), and God agreed to make Abraham a great nation
Abraham's response is the model of believing faith: "And he believed in
the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness" (Gen. 15:6)
The rest of Genesis 15 consists of a ceremony between Abraham and God that
was commonly used in the ancient world to formalize a covenant (Gen. 15:7-21)
God repeated this covenant to Abraham' son, Isaac (Gen. 17:19)
Stephen summarized the story in the book of Acts 7:1-8)
THE MOSAIC COVENANT
The Israelites moved to Egypt during the time of Joseph. A new Pharaoh
came upon the scene and turned the Israelites into common slaves. The people cried
out to the God of their forefathers. "So God heard their groaning, and God
remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob" (Exo. 2:24).
After a series of ten plagues upon the land of Egypt, God brought the Israelites out "of
Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand" (Exo. 32:11)
This covenant between God and the people of Israel was temporary -- God promised
a day when He would make a new covenant, not only with Israel but also with all
GOD’S COVENANT WITH DAVID
Another covenant was between God and King David, in which David and his
descendants were established as the royal heirs to the throne of the
nation of Israel (2 Sam. 7:12-13).
This covenant agreement reached its fulfillment when Jesus, a descendant
of the line of David, was born in Bethlehem. The gospel of Matthew
starts off by showing Christ was "the Son of David" (Matt. 1:1)
and thus He had the right to rule over God's people. Peter preached that Jesus Christ
was the fulfillment of God's promise to David (Acts 2:29-36)
THE COVENANT OF CHRIST
The New Testament makes a clear distinction between the covenants of the
Mosaic Law and the covenant of Promise. The apostle Paul spoke of these
"two covenants," one originating "from Mount Sinai," the other from "the
Jerusalem above" (Gal. 4:24-26). Paul also argued that the covenant established
at Mount Sinai was a "ministry of death" and "condemnation" (2 Cor. 3:7)
The death of Christ ushered in the new covenant under which we are justified
by God's grace and mercy -- it is now possible to have the true REMISSION of sins.
Jesus Himself is the Mediator of this better covenant between God and
man (Heb. 9:15). Jesus' sacrificial death served as the oath, or pledge,
which God made to us to seal this new covenant.
The "new covenant" is the new agreement God has made with mankind, based
on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This new covenant is continued today
in the Divine Sacrifice of the Mass.
When Jesus ate the meal at the Last Supper with His disciples, (The Seder Meal
of the first born) He spoke of the cup and said, "This is My blood of the new covenant,
which is shed for you and for many for the remission of sins" (Matt. 26:28)
This REMISSION of sins goes beyond mere forgiveness but wipes out the sin
as if it never happened.
When Paul recited the account he had received concerning the Last
Supper, he quoted these words of Jesus about the cup as "the new
covenant in My blood" (1 Cor. 11:25)
The Epistle to the Hebrews gives the new covenant more attention than
any other book in the New Testament. It quotes the entire passage from
Jeremiah 31:31-34) (Heb. 8:8-12). Jesus is referred to by the writer of Hebrews
as "the Mediator of the new covenant" (Heb. 9:15. The new covenant, a
"better covenant ... established on better promises" (Heb. 8:6)
rests directly on the sacrificial work of Christ and continues in the Divine
Sacrifice of the Mass.
The new covenant accomplished what the old could not, i.e., the total removal
or remission of sin and cleansing of the conscience (Heb. 10:2)
The work of Jesus Christ on the cross thus makes the old covenant "obsolete" (Heb. 8:13
and fulfills the promise of the prophet Jeremiah.
Unlike the Mosaic covenant, the new covenant of Jesus Christ is intended
for all mankind -- regardless of race. In the Great Commission Jesus
sent His apostles into the entire world so they could tell the story of
the cross (Luke 24:46-47). In the Mass, as in no other way, we integrate into
the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ.
THE COVENANT ESTABLISHED BY GOD
IN CHRIST LIVES ON IN THE EUCHARIST
JESUS SAID “I AM WITH YOU ALL DAYS EVEN
TO THE CONSUMMATION OF THE WORLD”
JESUS IS PHYSICALLY ALIVE IN THE EUCHARIST
TO DAILY PRAY THE PSALMS AND SCRIPTURE
THE DAILY MASS AND THE DAILY PRAYING
OF THE MONASTIC DIURNAL ARE TOGETHER
THE HEART OF THE RULE OF SAINT BENEDICT
Celtic Orthodox Benedictine are prayer warriors who daily pray the Benedictine Monastic Diurnal. This helps them sanctify their day and draw closer to God in Christ. All seven of the hours in the Diurnal take about an hour a day. Christ asked the Apostles, “WILL YOU NOT WATCH ONE HOUR WITH ME” The Celtic Orthodox Benedictine respond “YES LORD, SPEAK YOUR SERVANT LISTENS”.
The traditional prayer book of the Benedictine monks in Western Orthodoxy, the Monastic Diurnal, was first set forth in all of its essential features about the year 535 A.D., in the Holy Rule of St. Benedict who is called the father of Western monasticism. It was the first complete and enduring order of daily praise and prayer in European Christendom.
Its recitation was called by St. Benedict the “Opus Dei”, which is Latin for “work of God”.
The Monastic Diurnal (Monastic day time prayers) owes its remote origin
to the inspiration of the Old Covenant. God commanded the Aaronic priests
(c.1280 BC) to offer a morning and evening sacrifice (Ex. 29:38-29). During the
Babylonian Exile (587-521 BC), when the Temple did not exist, the synagogue
services of Torah readings and psalms and hymns developed as a
substitute for the bloody sacrifices of the Temple, a sacrifice of
praise. The inspiration to do this may have been fulfillment of David's
words, "Seven times a day I praise you" (Ps. 119:164), as well as, "the
just man mediates on the law day and night" (Ps. 1:2).
After the people returned to Judea, the Temple was re-built. The
prayer services developed in Babylon for the local assemblies,
(synagogues) of the people, were brought into Temple use. We
know that in addition to Morning and Evening Prayer to accompany the
sacrifices, there was prayer at the Third, Sixth and Ninth Hours of the
day. The Acts of the Apostles notes that Christians continued to pray at
these hours (Third: Acts 2:15; Sixth: Acts 10:9; 10: 3, 13). And,
although the Apostles no longer shared in the Temple sacrifices—they had
its fulfillment in the "breaking of the bread" (the Eucharist)—they
continued to frequent the Temple at the customary hours of prayer (Acts
Monastic and eremitical (hermit) practice as it developed in the early
Church recognized in the Psalms the perfect form of prayer and did not
try to improve upon it. Among the earliest Psalter cycles of which we have a
record is the division given by St. Benedict in his Rule (Ch. 8-19)
with canonical hours of Lauds (Morning Prayer) offered at sunrise, Prime (1st
hour of the day), Terce (3rd hour, or Mid-morning), Sext (6th hour or
Midday), None (9th hour or Mid-Afternoon), Vespers (Evening Prayer)
offered at sunset, and Compline (Night Prayer) before going to bed.
THE BENEDICTINE MONASTIC DIURNAL
THE TERM DIVINE OFFICE MEANS DIVINE DUTY
AND REFERS TO THE OBLIGATION OF ALL
CELTIC ORTHODOX CLERGY TO DAILY PRAY
THE BENEDICTINE MONASTIC DIURNAL.
TO PRAY AS DID THE EARLY CHURCH
THE BENEDICTINE MONASTIC DIURNAL
IS A GIFT FROM THE ANCIENTS TO US TODAY
AND OUR LEGACY TO A GENERATION NOT YET BORN
Christ continues to bring the love of the Father to His people and reveal His own love for us from the Tabernacle on the Altar. Christ continues to be our Savior, our Redeemer, our life, our sweetness and our hope. From the Tabernacle on the Altar Christ ALONE remains the gate of Heaven, the SOLE arbiter and dispenser of all God’s Graces and gifts; The Mediator of all graces. We are healed by the Sacred Wounds of Christ, we are redeemed by His Precious Blood and we are made clean by His spoken word. It is impossible to be sealed in the Blood of the Lamb without also experiencing the power of the Mass, as the Eucharist is what seals us in the Blood of the Lamb. The Benedictine Monastic Diurnal is an extension of the Mass and is oriented toward the Mass.
St. Benedict (A.D. 480-543) writes of the
canonical hours in the Rule he wrote
As the Prophet saith: "Seven times a day I have given praise to
Thee," this sacred sevenfold number will be fulfilled by us in this
wise if we perform the duties of our service at the time of Lauds,
Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, and Compline; because it was of
these day hours that he hath said: Seven times a day I have given
praise to Thee. At these times, therefore, let us offer
praise to our Creator "for the judgments of His justice;"
namely, at Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, and Compline.
THE CANONICAL HOURS
Certain prayers are so important that they represent the official public
Prayer of the Church. Chief among these is the Holy Sacrifice of the
Mass, which unites us spiritually and physically to God. In second
place of importance are the seven Canonical Hours of the Benedictine
Monastic Diurnal (Divine Office) which hours sanctify the different parts
of the day and keep us ever in the sight of God. The Hours of the Office
may vary in length and solemnity, but together they form a unified approach
to our daily communication with God, reflecting the themes of the current liturgical
season and daily feast days. Like stars surrounding the infinite
brightness of the sun, which is the Mass, the Hours of the Benedictine Monastic
Diurnal merge with the Mass to form a single prayer, the public worship of God in the
name of the Church, elevating our souls and inspiring our thoughts,
words and deeds. When we pray the Benedictine Monastic Diurnal we are praying
with St. Benedict and with the early church Fathers in the same words they used.
The Canonical Hours of the Benedictine Monastic Diurnal are as follows:
Lauds is a jubilant hour, fresh as the morning dew, perhaps the most beautiful of all the hours. Its symbolism deserves attention. It is night; nature and men are asleep. In the Far East the grey of dawn appears; then the ruddy hue of morning, the harbinger of a new day, spreads across the horizon, and the world of nature begins to stir. But all this natural beauty is only a symbol and reminder of a most wonderful event in the story of salvation. It was at this beautiful hour that our Savior burst the bonds of death. Resurrection—that is the background theme of Lauds. And the two pictures together, dawn and resurrection, remind us of a third arising from slumber, the spiritual awakening of the human soul. There is, then, a threefold resurrection: nature awakens, the Savior rises from the dead, the human soul celebrates its spiritual resurrection. Such is the background to our prayer of Lauds. It is an explicit song of praise; praise is the hour's central theme. If we can get a feeling for these three pictures intermingling in our Lauds prayer, if we can enter into the spirit of this threefold resurrection, if we can enlist the forces of nature to pray and praise and exult along with us while reciting this hour reasonably early in the morning, perhaps even in the open air, then we are certain to be struck by the full impact of its meaning. Lauds is, actually, one of the most striking examples of what a proper observance of the characteristic thought of an hour and the background theme from the story of salvation can do for personal devotion. The psalms at Lauds are all specially chosen hymns of praise. The climax of Lauds is the Gospel song, the “Benedictus”. It is a hymn in praise of man's redemption, a greeting to the dawning day of salvation which is destined to be one more step toward its completion. Every day is a new coming of the Redeemer, and the Church greets her Savior as the "Day-Spring from on high".
Prime is the Church's second Morning Prayer, quite different in tone from Lauds. Lauds is the ideal morning prayer, a "resurrection song" of all creation and of the Church. Prime is the morning prayer of a sinful human, a subjective prayer. The basic theme of Prime is dedication of and preparation for the day's labors and conflicts. This theme runs through the whole hour.
9 o'clock. The Church wants us to pause briefly during our day's activity and raise our hearts to God; that is the purpose underlying the little hours. They are a chance to catch our breath, an oasis in our desert wanderings. It is important that we do not pray them all at once, but whenever possible we should pray them at the corresponding hour of the day as a renewed consecration of the day's work. The little hours are short, because the day is for work.
The story of salvation has a role to play in Terce: it was the third hour (9:00) when the Holy Ghost came down upon the young Christian community on Pentecost Sunday. Quite appropriately, the Church recalls this mystery in the hour of Terce: Terce is thus the "first Confirmation", a strengthening for the conflicts of the day. The hour's theme is invocation of the Holy Ghost. The hymns proper to the little hours are a further development of the theme proper to each, and to the corresponding time of day.
12:00 noon. Theme of the hour: The day's conflict is at its climax, the heat of passion is at its strongest, the powers of hell have greater influence over man, our lower nature seems to have gained mastery. Theme from the story of salvation: the Savior is hanging on the Cross (12:00 to 3:00); hell is bringing all its forces to bear against him. This scene from Good Friday is the background for Sext; foreground is the battle against sin in us and in the Church. "Lead us not into temptation" is the message of this hour.
3:00 to 6:00. This day of salvation is slowly beginning its decline. Our thoughts are taken up with the end of life. Looking to my future I ask: will I persevere? Perseverance is the hour's theme. There is no theme from the story of salvation. At the most there is eschatological shading—the last things.
Vespers, or Evensong, is the Church's evening prayer. It is very similar to Lauds, both in construction and in basic theme. The Church looks back on the day of salvation just passed with all its redeeming graces—and is fervently grateful. Vespers is a thanksgiving prayer. Thanksgiving is the principal theme: the “Magnificat” is the climax, the great thanksgiving song of the Church. The canonical-hour theme is this: thanks be to God for the day just passed, both in the soul and in the Church, thanks for all his saving graces.
There is also a theme from the story of salvation to be found in Vespers—the Last Supper. At the very same time that Vespers is prayed, Christ was seated with his apostles in the upper room. This gives Vespers a special connection with the holy Eucharist, and as a matter of fact, a great number of the Vesper psalms are Eucharistic songs or at least can easily be referred to the Eucharist.
Compline is the Church's second evening prayer, and as opposed to Vespers, it is a subjective and individual prayer for the sinful soul who wants to make her peace with God. The hour is a masterpiece of construction, the work of St. Benedict; we might call it the ideal night prayer.
Particularly beautiful is the symbolism of Compline. Light and sun are favorite Scriptural and liturgical symbols of God, Christ, the divine life. Christ is the divine Sun, the Christian is a child of the Sun. These thoughts are to be found frequently in the hours. But also the opposite of light, night and darkness, is a frequent liturgical symbol for the sinister power of the devil; night is the cloak for the prince of this world. The child of God, being a creature of light, is afraid of the night. Like a tiny chick he huddles beneath his mother's wings; there he is safe from the attacks of the hawk, Satan.
It is important to notice that our liturgical prayer thinks not only of ourselves, but of all our fellow men: for them too it is evening now, an evening of temptation, sin, and death. It is a matter of experience for all of us that the devil particularly likes to use the hours of night for setting the snares of his temptations. It is almost as if hell were depopulated every evening and hosts of evil spirits came as agents of sin to plague the earth. How many sins does the night cover with her thick black veil! The religious soul prays this night prayer for his own protection from the powers of darkness and for all souls, everywhere.
OUR APOSTOLIC LINE OF SUCCESSION IS ACCEPTED BY WORLD ORTHODOXY.
REMEMBER AS YOU READ THESE LETTERS OF AFFIRMATION THE BISHOPS BEING ACCLAIMED AS PART OF WORLD ORTHODOXY WITH GRACE FILLED AND SPIRIT FILLED ORDERS ARE NOT SUBJECT TO ANY OLD WORLD PATRIARCH, YET THE PATRIARCHS ACCEPT THEM AS EQUAL BISHOPS IN THE LARGER CHURCH WITH THE SAME APOSTOLIC MISSION.
LETTER OF RECOGNITION FROM THE O.C.A.
LETTER OF RECOGNITION FROM ALEXANDRIA
LETTER OF RECOGNITION FROM THE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH
WE ARE SUCCESSORS TO THE APOSTLES, IN UNION WITH THE ORIGINAL 12 AND ALL THOSE WHO CAME AFTER THEM AND WITH ALL THOSE WHO WILL COME AFTER US.
HOLY TRINITY CELTIC ORTHODOX CHURCH
CELTIC ORTHODOX BENEDICTINE FATHERS
IS A NOT FOR PROFIT CHURCH CORPORATION
UNDER SECTION 501 ( c ) 3 OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE .