Tracing the Spiral: Exploring Celtic Christian Heritage

May 20, 2016 - May 22, 2016
West Park NY

Tracing the Spiral:  Exploring Celtic Christian Heritage

Friday, May 20 – Sunday, May 22, 2016

Led by James Ruff

Things Celtic seem to be appearing frequently in our culture – in music, art, jewelry, movies – as well as in spirituality. In fact, Celtic spiritual tradition is deeply embedded in our own Anglican Christianity. The ancient Celts prized deep connections with nature and the divine wisdom hidden within it – in the rocks, plants and animals that share our world, as well as in our souls and physical bodies. Due to current upheavals in our earth’s climate as well as in human society, a deep yearning for a different way seems to be emerging in many of us, which may find resonance in the wisdom of our Celtic Christian ancestors. In this retreat, we will look at the writings of early Celtic Christian theologians as well as excerpts from the Carmina Gadelica, a collection of early Celtic prayers from the Hebrides. Through prayer, chant, Celtic harp music, Celtic song, story, and time spent walking and praying in nature, we will seek to deepen our awareness of Christ’s presence, within ourselves and in all that surrounds us.

James Ruff is a professional singer and harper specializing in music for voice and harp from Gaelic Scotland and Ireland.  A speaker of Scottish Gaelic and a member of the Episcopal Church since 2000, he has also been involved with the Ceile De (Culdee) Order – a Celtic Christian monastic order centered in Scotland – for ten years.  He has sung as soloist with many early music groups, opera companies and festivals throughout the US and in Europe, teaches Music: Voice at Vassar College, and has been Director of Music since 2004 at Christ the King Episcopal Church in Stone Ridge, NY.  Find out more at:

Cost: $275, deposit: $80

Categories: Church History  |  Retreats  |  The Arts