Monthly Archives: December 2010

A note on Celtic Christianity

Fire from the heavens in early medieval Ireland

[….] lightning has always had a special role in the Christian tradition. Seen as one of the instruments of God’s wrath, it was known to the Church Fathers (via the classical tradition) as ‘fire from the heaven’.

St Michael, the Archangel of war, was said to use it. And, across the medieval world, though especially among Celtic-speaking peoples, special shrines were built to Michael with lightning in mind.

Churches or hermitages were dedicated to the Archangel high on cliff-sites or coastal islands with a simple logic. It was there that lightning was most likely to strike and it was there that the hermit could come closest to God’s divine anger.

Christmas Tree

Normal room lighting, using flash No flash, room lights out, lit only by Christmas tree lights.

We got the tree from Hansen Tree Farm, driving up there and cutting it down ourselves on Sunday, December 19. We had to trudge through 17″ of snow, deep and crisp and even, but it was a fun outing.

<LiturgyGeekMode>Christmas does not begin until the evening of December 24. December 19 is during Advent.</LiturgyGeekMode>

That evening we saw this episode of Mythbusters. We laughed through all the “remedies” for keeping your Christmas tree from losing needles. From past experience with fresh cut trees we knew we would not have that problem. In fact the tree is doing very well and we do not expect any problems before we take it down on January 8 or 9 (the weekend after 12th Night/Epiphany).