The Reformed Celtic Church provides four active ministries: Episcopally Commissioned Missionary (Licensed/Credentialed); Deacon (Ordained); Priest (Ordained); and Bishop (Consecrated). The ordained ministries are referred to as Holy Orders. In addition to any "secular" requirements mentioned below, ALL RCC clergy are expected to meet the Biblical requirements for ministry; which, among other things, means being a baptized Christian, serious and sober-minded, truthful, monogamous if married or celibate if single, temperate, non-violent, not quarrelsome, self-controlled, and of good reputation (see 1st Timothy 3:1-13; Acts 20:28-32; Titus 1:5-9; and 1st Peter 5:1-4). Read the Epistle to the Hebrews for an understanding of the Christian Priesthood.

The Reformed Celtic Church does not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or marital status.

EPISCOPALLY COMMISSIONED MISSIONARY (ECM)

The position of Episcopally Commissioned Missionary (ECM) is a non-ordained ministry created to serve three purposes. First, it establishes a Reformed Celtic Church "presence" in a geographical area. Second, it licenses a qualified individual officially to represent the RCC by allowing the individual to function in a quasi-priestly manner (scroll down to the box below). Third, the ECM may be a path to Holy Orders (the ordained ministry) if the individual feels so called.

An individual applies in writing for status as an Episcopally Commissioned Missionary. The application must include a statement that the applicant agrees with the Reformed Celtic Church’s Mission Statement; that the applicant has read, affirms, and will adhere to the Reformed Celtic Church’s Code of Pastoral Conduct; agree to a criminal background check; and submit certified results of the Meyers-Briggs Personality Test.

The applicant must include any names used, date of birth, current address, telephone number, e-mail address (if available), and social security number. Mail these materials to:

The Reformed Celtic Church
Bishop Sid Blalack
7001 Mansfield Drive
Corpus Christi Texas 78414

 

 

The RCC Pastoral Council will make a determination of “Missionary” status. If the decision is affirmative, the applicant will be issued an “RCC Episcopal Commission for Missionary Work.”

ECM's are normally addressed as Amhas (male) or Ama (female). Pronounced AH mahs and AH mah respectively, the titles mean Father or Mother and are derivative from pre-Christian Druidic terms referring to a "fierce warrior" filled with spirit. Most non-ordained RCC Clergy (such as some Abbots or Abbesses) are addressed in this manner. They generally wear gray clergy shirts with clerical collar although other colors are permissible except for shades of red, burgundy, violet, and purple (reserved for Bishops).

If an ECM feels called to Holy Orders (Deacon or Priest) he or she will have expected to have developed an RCC community of ten or more adults (minimum of 18 years of age). The community may submit a Petition for Ordination signed and notarized by at least 10 (excluding the candidate) active adult members of the community. The RCC Pastoral Council will make a determination on ordination, date, time, and location. Two presenters from the applicant/candidate’s community will be expected to present the ordinand.

DEACON

The title Deacon comes from the Greek word diakonos, literally meaning "table waiter" or "servant". Initially, Deacons were assistants to Bishops. As Bishops became distinct from Priests and the ancient Church geographically expanded, Deacons progressively became assistants to Priests. While the lowest in the "hierarchy" of Holy Orders, the servant nature of the Diaconate makes it greatest in the eyes of heaven where "the first shall become last; and the last shall become first."

Deacons (whether male or female) in the RCC are addressed as Deacon or Reverend (depending on their preference. They generally wear grey or black clergy shirts with clerical collar although other colors are permissible except for shades of red, burgundy, violet, and purple (reserved for Bishops). For a list of a Deacon's approved ministries and responsibilities scroll to the box below.

Ordination to the Diaconate is accomplished by written request from a local Priest to the RCC Pastoral Council. The candidate must include a statement that the candidate agrees with the Reformed Celtic Church’s Mission Statements; that the candidate has read, affirms, and will adhere to the Reformed Celtic Church’s Code of Pastoral Conduct; agree to a criminal background check; and submit certified results of the Meyers-Briggs Personality Test. The candidate must include any names used, date of birth, current address, telephone number, e-mail address (if available), and social security number. These materials should be mailed to the address below. The Pastoral Council who will make a determination on ordination. If affirmed by the Council, the candidate will be ordained by the local community Priest. As a general rule, Deacons are not "recruited" from outside the RCC.

The candidate must have reached the age of 21.

The candidate must be a high school graduate or received such equivalency (such as a G.E.D.).

All required documents should be submitted to:

 

The Reformed Celtic Church
Bishop Sid Blalack
7001 Mansfield Drive
Corpus Christi Texas 78414

 

PRIEST

The title of Priest comes from the Greek word presbyteros, literally meaning "elder". Initially, presbyteros were not distinct from episcopus (plural Greek, meaning "overseers", translated "bishops"). As the "Lord's Supper" became to be properly understood as a eucharistic re-enactment of Christ's atoning sacrifice, presbyterus and episcopus became to be viewed as Christian priests and a post-resurrection continuation of the Jewish priesthood. Likewise, as the Church grew numerically and expanded geographically, the Apostles (the 12 disciples who had witnessed Christ's resurrection) determined it was necessary to distinguish between elders and overseers by making the latter their successors. Between 60-90 A.D. Bishops and Priests became distinct ministries. Priests became the "right hand" extension of the Bishop. Priests served a local community with the assistance of Deacons. As successors to the Apostles, Bishops were overseers of several communities.

Priests in the RCC are addressed as Father (male), Mother (female), Pastor or Reverend (depending on their preference). They generally wear black clergy shirts with clerical collar although other colors are permissible except for shades of red, burgundy, violet, and purple (reserved for Bishops). For a list of a Priest's approved ministries and responsibilities scroll to the box below.

The minimum qualifications for ordination to the Priesthood are:

The applicant/candidate must have reached the age of 25.

Completion of a 4 year degree program (any major) from an accredited institution; or, completion of the University of Wales Lampeter online course on Celtic Christianity.

An individual applies in writing for ordination as a Priest. The application must include a statement that the applicant agrees with the Reformed Celtic Church’s Mission Statement; that the applicant has read, affirms, and will adhere to the Reformed Celtic Church’s Code of Pastoral Conduct; agree to a criminal background check; and submit certified results of the Meyers-Briggs Personality Test.

The applicant must include any names used, date of birth, current address, telephone number, e-mail address (if available), and social security number. Mail these materials to:

The Reformed Celtic Church
Bishop Sid Blalack
7001 Mansfield Drive
Corpus Christi Texas 78414

 

The Pastoral Council will make a determination on ordination, date, time, and location. Two presenters from the applicant/candidate’s community will be expected to present the ordinand.

A candidate may enter the Priesthood through the Diaconate by completing an 8 year program under the mentoring of an ordained Priest, thereby waiving the educational requirements aforementioned. The candidate must be an ordained Deacon, have the written recommendation of his or her community Priest or a RCC Bishop, and a Petition for Candidacy to the Program signed by at least ten adult members (excluding the candidate and the Priest) of his or her community. After satisfactory completion of the program and 8 years service as a Deacon, the Pastoral Council will make a determination on ordination to the Priesthood.

Validly ordained Priests from outside the RCC may seek admission to the RCC through the process of "incardination". In addition to the requirements and documents mentioned above, the Priest must submit a letter requesting incardination into the RCC, a Certificate of Ordination by a Bishop with valid Apostolic Succession, and a letter of excardination from his or her current Bishop. If the Priest does not have a current Bishop, an explanation of why he or she is not under episcopal covering is required. The RCC Pastoral Council will make a determination on admission. If approved, a Certificate of Incardination will be issued.

RELIGIOUS ORDERS, ABBOTS, AND ABBESSES

The RCC sanctions religious orders (communities of people who have chosen to live by a specific "rule of life"). Religious Orders may seek to come under the RCC by application. The application must include a statement that the Order agrees with the Reformed Celtic Church’s Mission Statement; that the Order has read, affirms, and will adhere to the Reformed Celtic Church’s Code of Pastoral Conduct; and that the Abbot or Abbess agree to a criminal background check; and submit certified results of the Meyers-Briggs Personality Test. The Order must also submit a copy of its Rule and a list of members with indication of any "titles" or offices held within the Order.

Abbots and Abbesses of approved Religious Orders are eligible voting seats on the RCC Pastoral Council.

Religious Orders seeking RCC sanctioning should submit application documents to:

The Reformed Celtic Church
Bishop Sid Blalack
7001 Mansfield Drive
Corpus Christi Texas 78414

 

BISHOP

A Bishop is a "pastor of pastors" and a successor to the Apostles. The RCC maintains valid Apostolic Succession. That is, our Bishops can trace the lineage of "the laying on of hands" by previously consecrated Bishops in an unbroken line back to the Apostles and Jesus Christ. One does not make "application" to be consecrated a Bishop. Rather, the RCC Pastoral Council "calls" a Priest to the Episcopacy or an RCC community requests consecration of a Priest by submitting a Protocol of Election to the RCC Pastoral Council. The Council makes a determination of approval, time, date, and place of consecration. Two presenters from the Bishop-Elect's community are expected to be in attendance to present him or her. RCC Bishops generally wear red, burgundy, violet, or purple shirts with clerical collar although they may wear other colors according to individual preference. RCC Bishops are empowered to perform all sacerdotal functions (see box below).

There are some "Celtic" peculiarities to the RCC Episcopacy. First, the Episcopate is a shared responsibility of equals (serving with Abbots and Abbesses on the RCC Pastoral Council) to equip Christ's Church for ministry and guide the RCC through both calm and troubled waters; much as a helmsman directs the rudder of a coracle (a Celtic boat made of leather). RCC Bishops "govern" as navigators in the spirit of St. Brendan. Second, unlike the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, the RCC does not maintain "episcopal jurisdictions" (like dioceses) based on geography. Rather, in the tradition of the ancient Celtic churches, attachment to a particular Bishop is emotional and in a familial manner. Granted, geographical proximity plays a role; but the overriding factor is an anamchara (soul-friend) relationship.

We also have some particularly "Gaelic" ways of addressing Bishops. The Presiding Bishop is called Taoiseach (pronounced TEE shock). It is a term referring to the chief (or father/mother or head) of a clan/tribe/family. The Taoiseach has a personal assistant of his or her choosing called Semoralain (pronounced sah MOR ah lin). The Semoralain is, generally, an ordained Priest or Deacon (male or female). The Suffragan Bishop is called Tanaisteacha (pronounced TAH nah eesh tah kah). He or she is elected by the Pastoral Council and affirmed by the RCC Clergy to be the successor to the current Taoiseach upon the current Taoiseach's death or incapacitation. All other Bishops are Auxiliary Bishops and called Tanaiste (pronounced TAH nah eesh tah).

A Bishop from outside the RCC may seek admission to the RCC. An individual applies in writing for admission as a Bishop. The application must include a statement that the applicant agrees with the Reformed Celtic Church’s Mission Statement; that the applicant has read, affirms, and will adhere to the Reformed Celtic Church’s Code of Pastoral Conduct; agree to a criminal background check; and submit certified results of the Meyers-Briggs Personality Test. He or she must also submit a Certificate of Consecration by a Bishop with valid Apostolic Succession. He or she must also provide documentation of Apostolic lineage. (Click here for an example.)

The applicant must include any names used, date of birth, current address, telephone number, e-mail address (if available), and social security number. Mail these materials to:

The Reformed Celtic Church
Bishop Sid Blalack
7001 Mansfield Drive
Corpus Christi Texas 78414

 

The minimum qualifications for a Bishop are:

The applicant/candidate must have reached the age of 40.

Completion of a 4 year degree program (any major) from an accredited institution; or, completion of the University of Wales Lampeter online course on Celtic Christianity.

THE RCC PASTORAL COUNCIL

The Reformed Celtic Church Pastoral Council consists of RCC Bishops, Abbots, and Priors (regardless of race, national origin, ethnicity, marital status, gender or sexual preference). Eligible individuals are nominated and approbed by a majority of the standing Council. The Council is "chaired" by the Taoiseach but all members have equal voice and vote. The Council's primary function is to equip the Church for ministry by completing the above "business". It also adjudicates disputes, establishes protocols and procedures, and issues "policy" statements on matters of significance.

THE RCC MINISTRY / SERVICE TABLE

 

Ministry or Service

Laity

ABB

ECM

Deacon

Priest

Bishop

 

Preaching the Gospel

 

 

Leading Morning Prayer Services

 

Leading Evening Prayer Services

 

Celebrating Holy Eucharist

 

 

N/A

 

 

Officiating Deacon's Mass

(with pre-consecrated elements)

 

ECM symbol

N/A

N/A

 

Leading Shabbat Fellowship

 

Leading Observance of Samhain

 

Leading Dalriadan Rosary Service

 

Officiating Ash Wednesday Service

 

 

 

 

Leading Tenebrae Service

 

 

 

Leading Easter Sunrise Prayer Service

 

Performing Holy Baptism

 

 

Officiating Confirmation

 

 

 

 

 

Officiating Holy Matrimony

 

 

 

 

 

Ministration to the Sick

(also called Last Rites or Extreme Unction)

 

 

 

 

 

Reconciliation of a Penitent

 

 

 

Funeral/Memorial Service

 

 

Requiem Mass

 

 

 

 

Ordination of a Deacon

 

 

 

 

 

Ordination of a Priest

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consecration of a Bishop

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blessing of Holy Water

 

 

 

 

Blessing of Objects

 

 

 

 

Blessing of a House

 

 

 

 

Sanctification of Holy Oil