One of the most extraordinary aspects of Celtic Medieval life was the productions in monastic scriptorums of the illuminated manuscripts. The interlaced borders and illuminated letters was a painstaking process of profound craftsmanship that also carried a theological message: all of creation, heaven and earth, is interwoven and united.
As part of our class, you are invited to take inspiration from these Celtic scribes to create your own illuminated manuscript of a poem or psalm.
I invite you. to take inspiration from Celtic Symbols to create your own illuminated page, perhaps using f the poem Glory in the Grey from Day 2 of our pilgrimage ( below).
Ruminazio: a practice of "making the word flesh"
1) Read the poem aloud twice, savoring the words. Notice what one word or phrase captures your heart
2) CHoosing a way to make that phrase special, copy down the poem - perhaps making it larger than the others, or embellishing it
3) Create a border, inlcuding Celtic symbols, images of trees, vines, flowers, animals
Glory in the Grey by George MacLeod, founder of the current Iona Community: Almighty God ... Sun behind all suns, Soul behind all souls ... Show to us in everything we touch And in everyone we meet The continued assurance of thy presence ‘round us, Lest ever we should thee absent. In all created thing thou art there. In every friend we have The sunshine of thy presence is shown forth. In every enemy that seems to cross our path, Thou art there within the cloud to challenge us to love. Show to us the glory in the grey. Awake for us thy presence in the very storm Till all our joys are seen as thee And all our trivial tasks emerge as priestly sacraments In the universal temple of thy love.
To marvel further at Celtic art, click here to watch a video about the Book of Kells
Juxtaposition of worlds: Ancient High Cross with Mary and Child in the center of one side, with young modern American pilgrim on cell phone . Iona invites us to consider both as faces of the Holy and Blessed.