Well a knot is a fairly easy thing to understand, sometimes welcome, sometimes describing a tangle we would rather not have, but we all know what a knot is.
However, a Celtic Knot is a bit more than that, just as this Sunday is more than Low Sunday
The Celts are/were a race of people. Obviously pagan before Christ and fierce fighters. Their women were taken seriously in leadership of all kinds and this went on into the Celtic Christianity years.
The branch of Christianity called Celtic came to these people, to Ireland through traders and, as with all people, they adapted its message to their ways.
The races that had Druids, nature based deities and accepted there was one unknown God “who put fire in the bellies” understood that God was Creator. They understood that life was encircling as they already had circles in their lives and in their jewellery. The concept of eternity was simply another circle and so easy to grasp. The seasons and the rhythm of day and night, the tides that ebb and flow, stories of storms on the lakes, these were things they understood and found God within.
Their simple lives moved easily into lives as missionaries, such as Columba, and their Holy Celibates lived in Nunneries containing male and female under the leadership of a female.
Their lives of trade led to journeys and the Celts remained a travelling race of fierce folk, hardy and loyal and comparatively simple. They never adopted Rome or its ways, defeating Rome eventually and driving it from the shores of the British Isles. Only for the Church of Rome later to return and take over the church.
The Celts heard the Good News and practised it, bringing it across to Iona and round Scotland to Lindisfarne. The simple lives of the nuns and monks, the values of service and journeying, acapella singing outside in creation which combined the chanting of psalms with their natural love of folk songs, from bards and the seeing of God in all things created continued until the council of Whitby when the then English King decided to follow the Roman way and that is when the practice of religion was changed forever.
Now more people are reconnecting with the simple ways of the celts, and pilgrims to the sites of Celtic Christianity grow in number.
Plain Church is not so strange after all!