In Nomine Dei Summi - Sermon 7

From R. E. McNally, "In nomine Dei summi": Seven Hiberno-Latin Sermons', Traditio 35 (1979), pp. 121-43.


In the name of God most high.

There are seven Signs which have cleansed this world.

The first Sign: the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ from the virgin Mary, so that we might be reborn in the innocence and simplicity of children.

The second Sign: Christ died for us, so that we might die to our sins.

The third Sign: he was buried, so that, as the apostle says 'we might be buried with' Christ.

The fourth Sign: he rose from the dead, so that we might rise from the dead and from our sins to the perfect life and spiritual bodies.

The fifth Sign: he ascended into heaven, that we might follow in his footsteps through our power, that is through good thoughts and good words and good works.

The sixth Sign: he sits at the right hand of God the Father, which points to our eternal stability in the kingdom of the eternal God.

The seventh Sign: that we look forward to Christ when he will give the rewards to his saints 'on the day of judgement' accordingly to their merits, as the apostle says: 'he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows' in blessing 'will reap' in blessing in life eternal.

(From "Journeys on the Edge: the Celtic Tradition" by Thomas O'Loughlin, (Traditions of Christian Spirituality Series) 2000, London, Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd. )

In Nomine Dei Summi - Sermon 6

From R. E. McNally, "In nomine Dei summi": Seven Hiberno-Latin Sermons', Traditio 35 (1979), pp. 121-43.


In the name of God most high.

It is fitting for each and every one of us to love his soul, just as he loves his body.

The body when it is hungry seeks food; when thirsty it seeks drink; when it is naked, clothing; when it labours it seeks rest; when it is sleepy it seeks sleep. Just so the soul also needs these things: the food of the soul is the Word of God; its drink is prayer or wisdom; its clothes are a firm faith in Christ; its rest is truth; its sleep is humility. On this last point scripture says: 'I will overlook any other except for the one who is humble and quiet and trembles at my word'; and in another place: 'he who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted'; and Christ says, 'Learn from me for I am meek and humble of heart'; and in another place: 'God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble'.

So it behoves us to lift up our souls
from the present things to the things that are absent,
from sadnesses to joy,
from fallen things to eternal things,
from earthly things to heavenly things,
from the lowest things to the high things,
from the absence of God to his presence,
from journeying to our own inheritance,
from the region of death to the region of life
in which we shall see the heavenly things 'face to face' and the king of kings reigning over the eternal things, with whom we, destined to last, will reign always without end in the eternal kingdoms of the eternal king. Amen.

(From "Journeys on the Edge: the Celtic Tradition" by Thomas O'Loughlin, (Traditions of Christian Spirituality Series) 2000, London, Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd. )


In Nomine Dei Summi - Sermon 5

From R. E. McNally, "In nomine Dei summi": Seven Hiberno-Latin Sermons', Traditio 35 (1979), pp. 121-43.


In the name of God most high.

'Fear the Lord' and 'love' always, for the Lord is gentle and generous with those who love him; but he is furious and angry with sinners and with those who have contempt for his commandments.

God teaches vigils,
The devil teaches sleepiness.

God teaches fasting,
The devil teaches saturation.

God teaches generosity,
The devil teaches avarice.

God teaches chastity,
The devil teaches fornication.

God teaches gentleness,
The devil teaches anger.

God teaches patience,
The devil teaches impatience.

God teaches humility,
The devil teaches pride.

God teaches peace,
The devil teaches controversy.

God teaches love of neighbour,
The devil teaches killing.

If we consent to the Lord, he leads us into the kingdom.

If we consent to the devil, he leads us into hell; hence we resist him with strength, and he flees from us.

Love the Lord for it is good, he always was, and is, and will be.

We shall reign with him without end, if 'we keep his commandments' and we will be 'sons of God'.

Scripture speaks to each and every one of us: do not sell your wheat for straw, nor give away your light for the darkness, nor your God for a human being. The love of a human being leads to sorrow; the love of Christ enlightens the heart and leads to eternal life. So love your God as he has loved you. 'He who perseveres' in the love of Christ 'up to the end, he will be saved'.

(From "Journeys on the Edge: the Celtic Tradition" by Thomas O'Loughlin, (Traditions of Christian Spirituality Series) 2000, London, Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd. )

In Nomine Dei Summi - Sermon 4

From R. E. McNally, "In nomine Dei summi": Seven Hiberno-Latin Sermons', Traditio 35 (1979), pp. 121-43.


In the name of God most high.

'Seek first the kingdom of God and his justice, and all these things will be given to you'. We seek with the heart, we ask with the mouth, we knock with good works. If, therefore, we relinquish all vices and all that is contrary to the will of God, we shall possess the kingdom with the angels and archangels and the prophets, and with the apostles and martyrs, where there will be rejoicing without end, serenity with a cloud, a kingdom without turmoil.

However, not all those who seek the kingdom of this world find it; and he who has found it does not possess it forever. Everyone who seeks the kingdom of God with faith and justice finds it, and he who has found it is never sent away. But the kingdom of this world is like a shadow on water, and 'the glory' of man is like 'the flower of the grass'. But 'the grass withers and its flowers fall away'. But the kingdom of this world is like a dream in the night; but the friends of God remain forever. For all 'those things which are seen are temporal, but those things which are not seen are eternal'. Therefore, 'Seek first the kingdom of God and his justice, and all these things will be given to you'.

So one should first seek the kingdom through good works, that is charity and fasting and prayer and humility and benevolence; and whatever we need, that will be placed before us, and he gives us immortality and eternal life for our good works. God does not seek the start of the work but its end.

(From "Journeys on the Edge: the Celtic Tradition" by Thomas O'Loughlin, (Traditions of Christian Spirituality Series) 2000, London, Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd. )


In Nomine Dei Summi - Sermon 3

From R. E. McNally, "In nomine Dei summi": Seven Hiberno-Latin Sermons', Traditio 35 (1979), pp. 121-43.


In the name of God most high.

In the first place, it is proclaimed through the pages of sacred scripture, that all the inhabitants, both believers and unbelievers alike, scattered over the whole earth believe faithfully in the almighty trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, three Persons, one God, remaining in one divine substance; who is the creator of the universe, i.e. the heavens and the earth and the sea, maker of all things visible and invisible, and the creator of the angles and archangels and of the whole celestial army of powers.

We are instructed by divine oracles that this God of great power is above all, and that we should love our creator 'from our whole heart and from our whole soul and with our whole strength'.

Similarly, for all those who desire to reach eternal life, it is most necessary to believe and confess Jesus Christ our Lord. That he is truly the only-begotten Son of the Father, who for our salvation came down from the heavens sent by the Father, and was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of Saint Mary ever virgin. And that he was born 'in Bethlehem of Judah', the first-born of his mother according to the predictions of the holy prophets.

In his divinity he is, before the ages, the source of the universes, without any beginning he remains with the Father, being 'the Word through whom all things were made'. As a human being he humbly and mercifully assumed flesh, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and died, and was buried, and on the third day he rose from the dead in the same flesh, and in the same body after forty days 'he ascended over all the heavens' and he sits at the right hand of God. From whence in the final time of the ages he will come again in his glory and of the Father and of the holy angels, the moment of the burning of the heavens and the earth, and coming with the earth trembling 'in the voice of the archangel and with the sound of the trumpet of God' to judge the living and the dead and 'to render to each one according to his works'. Then there will be the everlasting life after death prepared for all the saints, but for the impious and the sinners there will be the eternal punishments and these will be undimmed forever.

So the Christian stands upon the foundation of faith, while he raises the structure of good works; but first those evil works which scripture prohibits are to be avoided, then the good works, which are pleasing to God, are to be built. Blessedness is prepared for those, who according to the psalmist 'move away from evil and do good' by the most excellent Jesus Christ, our Lord, 'to whom is glory forever and ever. Amen'.

(From "Journeys on the Edge: the Celtic Tradition" by Thomas O'Loughlin, (Traditions of Christian Spirituality Series) 2000, London, Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd. )


In Nomine Dei Summi - Sermon 2

From R. E. McNally, "In nomine Dei summi": Seven Hiberno-Latin Sermons', Traditio 35 (1979), pp. 121-43.


In the name of God most high.

Come together frequently to the church! Declare your sins to the priests; and on account of your sins ask them to ask God that he be generous to you.

You ought to offer offerings every Day of the Lord for yourselves and your families. For what is worthy and acceptable to God is this, that Christians (who often act negligently) should wash away their sins through holy offerings, through alms, through pure prayer and contrition of heart, and through fasting and abstinence. And in this way you ought to act in all things.

Consider yourselves! For what were you born into the world? For what other than that you should do good? And if you do something through ignorance and stupid contrariness, it is necessary that you amend for this through a good work, and seek that it will be brought home to your memory that the way you live with your wife will be the manner that is fitting for a Christian.

Lay out honour to your parents.

You should love your wife.

You should teach your children the law of God and the catholic [law] with the greatest discipline so that they may know how to love and fear God, and to honour their parents - for this is what is pleasing to God.

Above all you must abstain from foul talk. Do not detract from your neighbour, and if he does something that displeases you, talk with him and admonish him with charity; and if that profits you, you will save yourself also.

Take care about drunkenness on all occasions, for it is a great destroyer of the soul. Just as fire easily sets fire to the stubble and the light straw, so drunkeness corrupts the soul and casts it into great sin.

When you enter the house of God, reflect with great fear that then you are going to your master so that you can beseech him for what you have neglected, and you are asking for a life which perhaps you do not deserve on account of your sins. And while you are standing in the church, always have your mind raised to God, and always watch with the eyes of your heart how consolation is offered to you by God from on high. If you do this often, and you have God always before your eyes, then the Adversary will flee from you and will not prevail against you. Then the angel of the Lord is a helper with you in these good things, where he looks through your mind to see if you have a prepared soul. Reflect that 'God is honourable' and that he accepts the prayers of those who pray with purity, and he does not delay his promises. At once he received the cries and lightens and stretches out his help to those who are sorry.

How is it possible to perform something good which you have in your minds? If the last day finds you with these good works, then the angels will greet you and will receive you with joy, and they will lead you before the tribunal of judgement, there you will receive according as you have done. This should not be put to one side among you, for our Lord Jesus Christ has announced this to us, through the holy scripture which is read each day in the catholic church, that the end of this world is coming closer every day, and the signs which predict it are being found each day. I hope his coming will be in the very near future and that he will judge the whole universe with fire. Whatever is made plain to our eyesight, we know this: that 'on the last day' when the sin of humans will be complete, the Lord will not wish to endure this any more, then fire will come forth from the Lord to burn the whole universe with all the things that are in it, and everything will be reduced to nothing on account of the sins of human beings. Then next, and after not many days, almighty God will rebuild all the better things that had been in it, and it will be the resurrection of human beings, and all human beings, both good and bad, shall have to rise in one moment. And then our Lord Jesus Christ has to come to judge where he has placed them, 'and all the angels with him' and all 'the powers of the heavens will be shaken'. 'Then' the king, the redeemer of all, 'will sit' in the seat 'of his majesty and before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats'. 'He will place those' who are good to his right, but the evil ones to his left.

'Then' he 'will say to those on his right, "Come, O blessed of my Father, receive the kingdom which is prepared for you from the beginning of the world." ' And he will continue saying: 'For I was hungry and you gave me to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me to drink, I was naked and you covered me, sick and in prison and you visited me.' Then the just will answer him, 'O Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or naked, or sick or in prison, and serve you?' Then he will say to them, 'As much as you did it to one of the least of these, you did it to me'.

And then he will say to those who are on his left, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire which is predestined for the devil and his angels. I hungered and you did not give me to eat, I thirsted and you did not give me to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, I was naked and you did not cover me, sick and in prison and you did not minister to me'.

Consider, my children, the great piety of God, and ask that in the coming judgement that he will not reprove our sins, nor say 'You have done evil', but rather that he chide those who have acted and have not mended their ways. So this is something to be considered by us in all things while each of us is able, while each has time and has his reward in his hands. In so far as he has the upper hand, each person can buy himself back so that when it comes to him he will not be with the evil ones sent into hell, but with those who on account of good works are received into the heavenly kingdom. For there will be a separation between the good and the bad, after which none of the good will be with the bad, nor any of the bad with the good: each will have that sort of companion he joined with in this life and has willed to be with forever, goodness has not ebbed from the good person, nor evil from the sinners and the negligent who have walked with proud hearts and in the desires of the flesh who, having finished this life, shall live forever in the eternal tortures without either end or remedy.

Just as the Lord has offered and promised that those who love and fear him, and keep his commandments, shall rejoice with him without end in the heavenly kingdom, so those who consent to the allure of the Adversary and have not improved their ways will be tortured without end.

So the Almighty saves us and rescues us with the greatest love. And he gives this to us so that when we do evil, we can improve; and so with that help be found worthy to come to the everlasting good life, he helping us who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

(From "Journeys on the Edge: the Celtic Tradition" by Thomas O'Loughlin, (Traditions of Christian Spirituality Series) 2000, London, Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd. )


In Nomine Dei Summi - Sermon 1

These sermons are of anonymous authorship, and were in circulation before the 10th c. throughout the Celtic world. Quotes from them are found in Anglo-Saxon writings as well (and even in the Upper Rheinland by the early 9th c.). The content of one sermon pinpoints that the sermons were likely written about the time that the Nicene Creed became a feature of liturgical prayer in the West. From R. E. McNally, "In nomine Dei summi": Seven Hiberno-Latin Sermons', Traditio 35 (1979), pp. 121-43.


In the name of God most high.

It is indeed fitting that we should first hear justice and then understand it. THen we ought to offer the fruit of those teachings we have understood, just as the apostle tells us: 'it is not the hearers, but the doers of the law who will be justified'. Thus in whatever manner we have tasted life, we do not rest from fulfilling the law, since the taste of death is that which awaits us in the future. So the prophet foretold: 'who is the man who can live and not' taste 'death'? But in whatever way death was given 'in Adam', so it rules in all his sons and at life's end this is what the future holds for each and every human being. Then two opponents will come to meet him: an enemy, an Ethiopian black as a raven or quenched coals, the other an army in garments white as snow. And over the soul of each one they will hold a contest to see if he be just or unjust; and both protagonists shall know to which of them he belongs.

If in this contest the demons find that the person is one of their allies they all rejoice, and by the same token the angels are saddened.

The demons say: 'That man is ours! He was unarmed in the battle, he was not brave, and he failed to bear the arms of Paul the apostle, "the shield of faith" "and the sword of the" holy "Spirit which is the word of God" and the "breastplate of justice" and "the helmet of salvation" which he ought to have carried for warfare against us. Arouse him and drag him from his body and give him terrors and horrors and lead him to the terrible places where he will see all the trials.'

Then that soul, who sees nothing in the present life, says: 'O great distress!' Having heard it all before, the demons reply: 'Even greater is about to be given to you. We have tethered you to the first-formed Satan who is bound with his attendant mob in the deepest hole'.

Then the soul says: 'Great is the darkness!' The demons reply: 'It will get even worse for you.'

Then the third time it says: 'The way is rough!' The demons reply: 'The future is even rougher for you. You will see the bitterness of your kind who have abandoned "the tents of the just".'

Then the demons will say: 'Divide up into two opposing groups, one group to start and the other to follow and sing to him songs from the songs of David: "Why do you rejoice in evil-doing?"; and then again "God has plucked you out and up-rooted you from the land of the living"; and then say: "There is no help for him in his God".'

Michael meanwhile never abandons a soul until he allots it its reward before the judgement seat of the Trinity. He sees all the works that the soul has done and, holding his book in his hands, he lays out for it either good things or bad. And if the angels find the soul to belong to them, they rejoice while the demons grieve. Then the angels say: 'That man is ours for he was strong in the conflict and solid in the battle and was welcoming and merciful. He was helpful, remembered nothing evil, guarded every good, and he did not push away the arms of Paul the apostle, namely, "the shield of faith" "and the sword of the" Holy "Spirit which is the word of God" and "the breastplate of justice" and "the helmet of salvation" which are the instruments of war. Arouse him gently from his body so that he sees nor feels nothing of fear or sadness or doubt.'

Then the soul says: 'Great is the light!'

The angels responding say: 'It will be greater for you yet and you will see the brightness of God as it were "face to face" and not as "in a mirror" nor through a veil in the way that the sons of Israel looked on the face of Moses'.

The soul then speaks again: 'Great is the joy!'

The angels reply: 'It will be even greater for you. You will see the joy of the angels coming to meet you with their divine singing, and with all the saints saying "These are they who have come through great tribulation and have washed their garments and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.'

And the soul spoke a third time: 'The road is sweet!'

The angels replied: 'It is going to be even sweeter for you. We are going to lead you to the tents of the just away from the haunts of the wicked.'

Then the angels said: 'Divide up into two armies, one group to start and the other to follow and sing to him songs from the songs of David where he manifests the blessedness of the soul on entering into the house of God'. They said: 'Blessed is he whom you choose and take up, O Lord; he will dwell in your tents. We will be filled with good things in your house. Holy is your temple and wonderful in equity'. 'There is no acceptance of persons there,' nor nobility of kind, for God 'rewards each one according to his works'. The wicked depart 'into eternal fire', 'but the just into eternal life'.

(From "Journeys on the Edge: the Celtic Tradition" by Thomas O'Loughlin, (Traditions of Christian Spirituality Series) 2000, London, Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd. )


First Christians in America

Often folk assume that the first Christians in America were either with Christopher Columbus, or (with Orthodox) the Russians in Alaska. However, the tale of Christianity in America really begins with the Gaels and Vikings.

Greenland is part of North America, though not attached to the mainland. When Leif Ericsson (a Greenlander, so an American) made his first journey, it was to Norway where he received the faith from St. Olaf, the King of Norway. His mother was also a Christian (many of the Icelanders who settled Greenland were Christians, as the first 'Norse' in Greenland where Hebridean Norse that held to Irish Christianity - especially the paruchia of St. Columba.) St. Olaf placed the Vestmenn (West-men, ie Americans) under the Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen (today in Germany between Holland and Denmark - in those days, part of Greater Frisia.) They took priests with them back to Greenland, and also on to Vinland. This all, of course, is before the Great Schism. Hamburg-Bremen at the time was part of the larger Northern Church with its center at Canterbury (during the reign of Cnut Dane, King of England, Denmark, Norway and part of the Swedes.)

An early Christian on the mainland was Thorvald, who was killed in an encounter with the Skraelings (possibly the Beothuk or Micmac Algonquins.) His burial place was named 'Crossness' by the Greenlander West-men, and thus is the place of first Christian burial in mainland Americas.

Even earlier is the tale of Ari Marson, who in 983 was captured by natives when blown off course to 'Vinland'. It was said that the later Viking explorers came across Ari again - in Hvitramannaland (White-robed men's land) also called Great Ireland "...behind and interior to Vinland." Ari had been baptized there by Irish monks, and made king over the natives (mixed Indian and Irish.) An Icelandic witness to St. Brendan the Navigator and other Irish indeed coming to the New World?

Eventually, a bishopric for the New World was established (during the period when the schism was developing, but before it the 'Sack of Constantinople' and its finality of excommunication) - this bishopric continued down to the early decades of the 16th century - the Greenland colony (with visits to Vinland) overlapping Columbus' voyages. The final end of the Greenland colony was due some believe to a 'mini-Ice Age', though local legends and contemporary Scandinavian records blame the depredations of English and Basque pirates, and finally the end of the few survivors at the hands of the Inuit (who were also recent in that area.) Between the end of the Christian Scandinavian culture of North America (c. 1520) and the founding of the English Christian colonies (1582) was roughly two generations of possibly Scandinavian influenced exploration and visits for potash, lumber, furs and fish by English enterprise. The first British colony was actually at Vinland (though it failed) though it overlapped the foundation of the Scots colony of Annapolis Royal about two decades later - which survived til today as the first permanent English speaking colony (Fort Popham, Maine and Jamestown, VA were founded only two years later.) Thus there is a thin thread of continuity before the Anglican settlement of Virginia (which was less 'Protestant' ie Reformed/Calvinist/Congregationalist/Puritan than the New England colonies a decade and a half later.)

The rite of worship of these Scandinavians (Orthodox Catholic Christians) of America was that of Trondheim, being a local adaptation of the use of Sarum ... the English who first colonized America being only one to two generations removed from full Sarum (and for recusants, not removed at all) and at least following the new English BCP's which were also adaptations of the Sarum. So - a continuity of worship with the first Christians on the continent from the days before the 'Great Schism'

(Another interesting note: the old usages of the Celtic/Anglo-Saxon church were preserved at Sherbourne Abbey, and became part of the Sarum usage at Salisbury in Norman times - the temporal lord over Sherbourne was none other than Sir Walter Raleigh, who may be considered in more than one way the 'Father of the American colonies'. America, of course, was named so before Amerigo Vespucci made his voyage or maps - the local tradition being that it was named so for the Bristol harbor-master, Richard Americ by Cabot on his voyage of 1497 - just 5 years after Columbus first voyage, and while the Greenland settlement still existed. Vespucci, whose real name was Alberrico, not Amerigo til a name change in the early 16th c., did not make his first voyage until 2 years after Cabot and the naming of America.)


Fasting in the ROCOR WRITE (Sarum)

"The  Advent Fast is for forty days, through to the eve of the Holy Nativity, during which period fish may be eaten.  The exception to this is the Feast of Saint Finnian, Skellig Michael Monastery and Orthodox Monasticism in the West (25th of December) on which day the fast is entirely relaxed.

Lent begins on the Monday of the fifth week before Holy Week, and continues through Holy Week.  Abstention from meat, fish and dairy products is observed, except on Palm Sunday and the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 7th of April, when fish may be eaten.  On Saturdays and Sundays of Lent, wine, oil and fish may be eaten.  This selection of foods is applied to the other fast periods mentioned below, except when indicated otherwise.

The Fast of the Holy Apostles starts on Monday after of Trinity Sunday and ends on the celebration of Apostles Peter and Paul.
The Fast of the Dormition runs for a fortnight up to the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Wednesday and Friday of every week throughout the year.
The day before the Epiphany.
The day of the Beheading of Saint John the Baptist.

Prescribed days of Prayer and Fasting

Ember Days.  Four groups of three days each.  Where these fall inside a more extensive fast, they are observed as strict days.
1. The Wednesday, Friday and Saturday following the Feast of Saint Lucy (27th of December).
2. The Wednesday, Friday and Saturday following the first Sunday of Lent.
3. The Wednesday, Friday and Saturday following Whitsunday
4. The Wednesday, Friday and Saturday following the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (27th of September).

Rogation Days.  The Major Rogation is the 25th of April and the Minor Rogations are the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before the Feast of the Ascension.  On such days, as well as fasting, the Great Litany shall be sung in the church.  This practice dates from about AD470. "