[University of Wales, Lampeter] A new book, A Celtic Primer, has just been launched by Brendan O'Malley, Dean of Chapel at the University of Wales, Lampeter. The traditional meaning of a Primer is that it taught people their prayers and taught children how to read. The origin of the Primer as a manual of devotion lies in the Prayer of the Hours chanted in early medieval monasteries.
This Celtic Primer is intended to be used as a companion to the Bible, encouraging people to use the Bible itself as the ideal Book of Prayer. Prayers within it have been drawn from Welsh, Irish, Scottish, and Breton texts. It is several books in one - a daily prayer book, a reader in Celtic spirituality and poetry and it contains the complete Psalter, which was the prayer book of the Celtic saints. It also contains a Celtic Eucharist with three Eucharistic prayers, which would have been the ones used in the Celtic world.
"This collected text is very much a working liturgy. In common with the Stowe Missal, little in it is unique; I have employed these prayers because of their beauty and form and because they are the spiritual font from which the Church of the Celts drew their inspiration," comments Brendan O'Malley.
A Celtic Primer is published by Canterbury Press (ISBN 1-85311-490-1) at £14.99. It has also been published in the USA by Continuum where there is significant interest in Celtic Christianity. The book ties in with the part of the MA in Celtic Spirituality which Brendan O'Malley will be teaching next year at the University of Wales, Lampeter: Liturgy, Prayer and Worship in the Celtic tradition and its application to today's world.