Monday, March 1, 2010

The Feast Of St. David

I once asked Google to find some Welsh music to accompany a post, back when it was easier to find free sites that played music on weblogs. What Google sent me was Tom Jones singing "It's Not Unusual". Actually, Tom, I thought it was unusual, considering I was looking for Welsh spiritual music.

Since the Prince of Wales may be too busy flying tens of thousands of miles on his personal luxury jet delivering another speech somewhere about the evils of global warming and carbon production [when the people who tell me this is a crisis start acting like it's a crisis, I may be more prepared to listen] to represent the feast day of the nation he serves as titular leader, I thought I might, in my low carbon footprint manner, offer some information.

By tradition and necessity, the Welsh developed a Christian life devoted to learning, asceticism, and missionary work. They were quite passionate about it. Since there were no cities, the centers of culture were the monasteries, with most abbots also serving as bishops. David was the founder, abbot, and bishop of the monastery of Menevia.

The custom in Celtic Christendom was for bishops to have no clear territorial diocesan jurisdiction, but to simply travel about as needed [peregrination]. With that freedom, David was able to evangelize most of Wales, and his monastery was sought out by scholars from far and near. That tradition continues in the contemporary Church of Wales, as it not only keeps the faith but serves to maintain the particular language and culture of the Welsh people.

Almighty God, who didst call thy servant David to be a faithful and wise steward of thy mysteries for the people of Wales: Mercifully grant that, following his purity of life and zeal for the gospel of Christ, we may with him receive the crown of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever. Amen.