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The Ghost Bells Of Ripon Cathedral

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posted on Jan, 28 2019 @ 07:45 AM
Christianity was blended with the older traditions. Monasteries provided a stable lifestyle.

Unlike the very hierarchical Roman Church-

“In contrast, the Celtic church celebrated grace and nature as good gifts from God and recognized the sacredness of all creation. It had a love of mysticism and poetry, a deep respect for the feminine, included women in its leadership and allowed clerical marriages. The Celtic understanding of church leadership was rooted in its rural and agricultural communal culture, and the great Celtic monasteries emerged from this tribal system.”

Ripon had a Celtic monastery.

The land for the monastery at Ripon was donated by King Aldfrith, who was the sub-king of the area under his father Oswig, King of Northumbria. To set it up, Aldfrith invited a group of monks from the Celtic monastery of Melrose, which at that time lay within the Kingdom of Northumbria.

Then along came Wilfrid.

In 655 Wilfrid had just finished his first visit to Rome and had arrived back at Lyon to spend another three years as guest of Archbishop Dalfinus of Lyon, getting his Roman tonsure and learning a great deal about the traditions and practices of the Roman church.

During 670-3 Ecgfrith had victories over the Picts in Scotland and during 673-5 over Wulfhere, king of Mercia, giving Wilfrid huge ecclesiastical influence not only over the whole of Northumbria but now to the north in Scotland and the south in Mercia (Midlands). With this influence came unprecedented wealth from the revenues of the vast estates and other royal gifts.

Following his reinstatement and drawing on his fabulous wealth, Wilfrid went on a great church building spree. Nothing could emphasise his disdain for the Celtic Christian culture more than the differences in design of his grand church buildings, furnishings and contents from the existing Celtic structures. Celtic churches were very simple small wooden affairs with thatched reeded roofs - spartan and (to Wilfrid) vulgar things. Wilfrid's plan was to build magnificent big stone buildings modelled on the great churches he had seen in Gaul and his travels to Rome.

The Celtic Christians were kicked out and Wilfrid took over. Much later the Normans took over the money-spinning tourist trap.

Roger de Pont l’Évêque, Archbishop of York 1154-81, set about building a magnificent new church over Wilfrid’s crypt in order to promote pilgrimages to his tomb.

There must have been many times over the centuries when bells were used for worship or as signals.

This is my story.

On my travels I found myself sleeping out beside the river Ure. It was a beautiful night. There were dozens of branches washed up in a tangle beside the river and I was able to keep a good fire going all night without going more than twenty feet from my sleeping bag. I'd heard the Cathedral bells during the evening, but what I heard around two in the morning was quite different.

I'd got up to feed the fire and I was standing, warming myself, when I heard the sound of bells. It was faint and otherworldly, like ghost bells from the distant past. At first I heard ringing something like this, but softer and more musical.
Then there was a sequence of what sounded like signal bells. Finally, one frantic repeated ringing that carried the feeling of an urgent alarm. I felt I had been allowed a glimpse of the history of Ripon.

posted on Jan, 28 2019 @ 09:44 AM
a reply to: Kester

I remember reading an article about Celtic Christianity. Apparently it's a movement making a comeback and there were links to several websites. If I could find it now, I would post it.

Much of early Christianity was different to what we have now. The Celts were pretty heavily into Gnostic Christianity. Also Scandinavia. Finland has all these old stave churches. If you google that you will see wooden buildings covered with snake designs. That's because they are Gnostic Christian.


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