Coarb

Last updated

A coarb, from the Old Irish comarbae (Modern Irish comharba, Latin: hērēs [1] ), meaning "heir" or "successor", [2] was a distinctive office of the medieval church among the Gaels of Ireland and Scotland. In this period coarb appears interchangeable with "erenach", denoting the episcopally nominated lay guardian of a parish church and headman of the family in hereditary occupation of church lands. The coarb, however, often had charge of a church which had held comparatively high rank in pre‐Norman Ireland, or one still possessed of relatively extensive termon lands. [3]

Old Irish is the name given to the oldest form of the Goidelic languages for which extensive written texts are extant. It was used from c.600 to c.900. The primary contemporary texts are dated c.700–850; by 900 the language had already transitioned into early Middle Irish. Some Old Irish texts date from the 10th century, although these are presumably copies of texts composed at an earlier time period. Old Irish is thus forebear to Modern Irish, Manx, and Scottish Gaelic.

Irish language Goidelic (Gaelic) language spoken in Ireland and by Irish people

Irish is a Goidelic (Gaelic) language originating in Ireland and historically spoken by the Irish people. Irish is spoken as a first language in substantial areas of counties Galway, Kerry, Cork and Donegal, smaller areas of Waterford, Mayo and Meath, and a few other locations, and as a second language by a larger group of non-habitual speakers across the country.

Latin Indo-European language of the Italic family

Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets, and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.

Also as per this article "... such lucrative monastic offices as “coarb” (comarbae “heir” to a saint) or “erenach” (airchinnech “superior”), otherwise transmitted by natural or nepotic descent within ecclesiastical families, which were often the politically displaced branches of royal dynasties"

The medieval Irish office of erenagh was responsible for receiving parish revenue from tithes and rents, building and maintaining church property and overseeing the termonn lands that generated parish income. Thus he had a prebendary role. The erenagh originally had a tonsure but took no other holy orders; he had a voice in the Chapter when they consulted about revenues, paid a yearly rent to the Bishop and a fine on the marriage of each daughter. The role usually passed down from generation to generation in certain families in each parish. After the Reformation and the Dissolution of the Monasteries the role of erenagh became subsumed in the responsibilities of the parson in each parish.

The coarb of Columba

In medieval Ireland and Scotland, the coarb of St Columba (Medieval Gaelic comarba Coluim Chille) identified the abbots who succeeded Columba. When the monks fled to their monastery in Kells, following the 9th-century Viking raids on Iona, their abbot continued to hold the title of coarb to reflect his direct inheritance: many of the early abbots were members of Columba's family.

The abbot of the collegiate church (i.e., monastery following the Rule of St Columba), who held holy orders and celebrated Mass ('serveth the cure'), was responsible for his monastic community. In time, the pattern of a Bishop and an Abbot of Iona was established, which after the Reformation and the Dissolution of the Monasteries fell into disuse.

Collegiate church church where the daily office of worship is maintained by a college of canons

In Christianity, a collegiate church is a church where the daily office of worship is maintained by a college of canons: a non-monastic or "secular" community of clergy, organised as a self-governing corporate body, which may be presided over by a dean or provost. In its governance and religious observance a collegiate church is similar to a cathedral, although a collegiate church is not the seat of a bishop and has no diocesan responsibilities. Collegiate churches were often supported by extensive lands held by the church, or by tithe income from appropriated benefices. They commonly provide distinct spaces for congregational worship and for the choir offices of their clerical community.

Monastery complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplace(s) of monks or nuns

A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplaces of monastics, monks or nuns, whether living in communities or alone (hermits). A monastery generally includes a place reserved for prayer which may be a chapel, church, or temple, and may also serve as an oratory.

Mass (liturgy) type of worship service within many Christian denomination

Mass is a term used to describe the main eucharistic liturgical service in many forms of Western Christianity. The term Mass is commonly used in the Catholic Church and Anglican churches, as well as some Lutheran churches, Methodist, Western Rite Orthodox and Old Catholic churches.

Related Research Articles

Columba Gaelic Irish missionary monk

Saint Columba was an Irish abbot and missionary Evangelist credited with spreading Christianity in what is today Scotland at the start of the Hiberno-Scottish mission. He founded the important abbey on Iona, which became a dominant religious and political institution in the region for centuries. He is the Patron Saint of Derry. He was highly regarded by both the Gaels of Dál Riata and the Picts, and is remembered today as a Catholic saint and one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland.

Iona island off the west coast of Scotland

Iona is a small island in the Inner Hebrides off the Ross of Mull on the western coast of Scotland. It is mainly known for Iona Abbey, though there are other buildings on the island. Iona Abbey was a centre of Gaelic monasticism for three centuries and is today known for its relative tranquility and natural environment. It is a tourist destination and a place for spiritual retreats. Its modern Gaelic name means "Iona of (Saint) Columba".

Dál Riata Gaelic overkingdom that included parts of western Scotland and northeastern Ulster in Ireland

Dál Riata or Dál Riada was a Gaelic overkingdom that included parts of western Scotland and northeastern Ireland, on each side of the North Channel. At its height in the late 6th and early 7th centuries, it encompassed roughly what is now Argyll in Scotland and part of County Antrim in the Irish province of Ulster.

Celtic Christianity Christianity in the Celtic-language speaking world during the early Middle Ages

Celtic Christianity or Insular Christianity refers broadly to certain features of Christianity that were common, or held to be common, across the Celtic-speaking world during the Early Middle Ages. "Celtic Christianity" has been conceived of with differing levels of specificity: some writers have described a distinct "Celtic Church" uniting the Celtic peoples and distinguishing them from the "Roman" Catholic Church, while others classify it as simply a set of distinctive practices occurring in those areas. Scholars now reject the former notion, but note that there were certain traditions and practices used in both the Irish and British churches but not in the wider Christian world. These include a distinctive system for determining the dating of Easter, a style of monastic tonsure, a unique system of penance, and the popularity of going into "exile for Christ". Additionally, there were other practices that developed in certain parts of Britain or Ireland, but which are not known to have spread beyond a particular region. The term therefore denotes regional practices among the insular churches and their associates, rather than actual theological differences.

Christian monasticism

Christian monasticism is the devotional practice of individuals who live ascetic and typically cloistered lives that are dedicated to Christian worship. It began to develop early in the history of the Christian Church, modeled upon scriptural examples and ideals, including those in the Old Testament, but not mandated as an institution in the scriptures. It has come to be regulated by religious rules and, in modern times, the Canon law of the respective Christian denominations that have forms of monastic living. Those living the monastic life are known by the generic terms monks (men) and nuns (women). The word monk originated from the Greek monachos "monk", itself from monos meaning "alone".

Crínán of Dunkeld was the hereditary abbot of the monastery of Dunkeld, and perhaps the Mormaer of Atholl. Crínán was progenitor of the House of Dunkeld, the dynasty which would rule Scotland until the later 13th century. He was the son-in-law of one king, and the father of another.

Saint Drostan, also Drustan, was the founder and abbot of the monastery of Old Deer in Aberdeenshire. His relics were translated to the church at New Aberdour and his holy well lies nearby.

Cainnech of Aghaboe saint, priest and abbot who preached across Ireland and Scotland.

Saint Cainnech of Aghaboe (515/16–600), also known as Saint Canice in Ireland, Saint Kenneth in Scotland, Saint Kenny and in Latin Saint Canicus, was an Irish abbot, monastic founder, priest and missionary during the early medieval period. Cainnech is one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland and preached Christianity across Ireland and to the Picts in Scotland. He wrote a commentary on the Gospels, which for centuries was known as the Glas-Choinnigh or Kenneth's Lock or the Chain of Cainnech.

Iona Abbey

Iona Abbey is located on the Isle of Iona, just off the Isle of Mull on the West Coast of Scotland.

Hiberno-Scottish mission

The Hiberno-Scottish mission was a series of missions and expeditions initiated by various Irish clerics and cleric-scholars who, for the most part, are not known to have acted in concert. There was no overall coordinated mission, but there were nevertheless sporadic missions initiated by Gaelic monks from Ireland and the western coast of modern-day Scotland, which contributed to the spread of Christianity and established monasteries in Britain and continental Europe during the Middle Ages. The earliest recorded Irish mission can be dated to 563 with the foundation of Iona by the Irish monk Saint Columba. Columba is said by Bede and Adamnán to have ministered to the Gaels of Dál Riada and converted the northern Pictish kingdoms. Over the next centuries more missions followed and spread through Anglo-Saxon England and the Frankish Empire. These early missions were, from the 18th and 19th centuries, so-called 'Celtic Christianity', though aside from some idiosyncratic cultural features, it was orthodox and maintained relationships with the Holy See.

Adomnán or Adamnán of Iona, also known as Eunan, was an abbot of Iona Abbey (r. 679–704), hagiographer, statesman, canon jurist, and saint. He was the author of the most important book on the life of his cousin St Columba and the promulgator of the Law of Adomnán or "Law of Innocents".

Abbot of Iona Wikimedia list article

The Abbot of Iona was the head of Iona Abbey during the Middle Ages and the leader of the monastic community of Iona, as well as the overlord of scores of monasteries in both Scotland and Ireland, including Durrow, Kells and, for a time, Lindisfarne. It was one of the most prestigious clerical positions in Dark Age Europe, and was visited by kings and bishops of the Picts, Franks and English. The Ionan abbots also had the status of Comarba of Colum Cille, i.e. the successors of that Saint, Columba.

Christianity in Medieval Scotland includes all aspects of Christianity in the modern borders of Scotland in the Middle Ages. Christianity was probably introduced to what is now Lowland Scotland by Roman soldiers stationed in the north of the province of Britannia. After the collapse of Roman authority in the fifth century, Christianity is presumed to have survived among the British enclaves in the south of what is now Scotland, but retreated as the pagan Anglo-Saxons advanced. Scotland was largely converted by Irish missions associated with figures such as St Columba, from the fifth to the seventh centuries. These missions founded monastic institutions and collegiate churches that served large areas. Scholars have identified a distinctive form of Celtic Christianity, in which abbots were more significant than bishops, attitudes to clerical celibacy were more relaxed and there were significant differences in practice with Roman Christianity, particularly the form of tonsure and the method of calculating Easter, although most of these issues had been resolved by the mid-seventh century. After the reconversion of Scandinavian Scotland in the tenth century, Christianity under papal authority was the dominant religion of the kingdom.

Saint Colmán Elo was born in Glenelly, Ireland in what is now County Tyrone. He is famed in Irish hagiography.

Hinba is an island in Scotland of uncertain location that was the site of a small monastery associated with the Columban church on Iona. Although a number of details are known about the monastery and its early abbots, and various anecdotes dating from the time of Columba of a mystical nature have survived, modern scholars are divided as to its whereabouts. The source of information about the island is Adomnán's late 7th-century Vita Columbae.

Baithéne mac Brénaind was an Irish monk, specially selected by Saint Columba as one of the band of missionaries who set sail for what is now Scotland in 563.

Christianity in the 6th century Christianity-related events during the 6th century

In 7th-century Christianity, Roman Emperor Justinian launched a military campaign in Constantinople to reclaim the western provinces from the Germans, starting with North Africa and proceeding to Italy. Though he was temporarily successful in recapturing much of the western Mediterranean he destroyed the urban centers and permanently ruined the economies in much of the West. Rome and other cities were abandoned. In the coming centuries the Western Church, as virtually the only surviving Roman institution in the West, became the only remaining link to Greek culture and civilization.

Beccán mac Luigdech was a 7th-century Irish poet and monk of Iona. He is known for having composed two vernacular poems, Fo réir Choluimb and Tiugraind Beccáin, which were written c. 640 in praise of St Columba, the founder of Iona. Along with Amra Choluim Cille, the fragment of the Life of St Cumméne (Cummian) and Adomnán's Life of Columba, the poems offer a contemporary glimpse of the monastic familia of Iona in the 7th century. Beccán has been identified with the Beccán solitarius who along with Ségéne, abbot of Iona, was addressed in a letter written by Cumméne in c. 632-3 concerning the Easter controversy. He may also be the Beccán of Rùm, whose death is recorded in the entry for 677 in the Annals of Ulster.

Clones Abbey

Clones Abbey is a ruined monastery that later became an Augustinian abbey in the twelfth century, and its main sights are ecclesiastical. The Abbey was formerly known as St. Tighernach Abbey, and was referred to locally as the "wee abbey". Parochial and monastic settlements were separated, and it seems likely that the building became the Abbey of St. Peter and Paul.

Christianisation of Scotland historical process by which Iceland was converted to Christianity

The Christianisation of Scotland was the process by which Christianity spread in what is now Scotland, which took place principally between the fifth and tenth centuries.

References

  1. Duffy, Seán (15 January 2005). "Medieval Ireland: An Encyclopedia". Routledge via Google Books.
  2. "Coarb". Clan Livingstone Society. Sep 2, 2004.
  3. Etchingham, Colmán (2011). Connolly, Sean J., ed. The Oxford Companion to Irish History (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 107. ISBN   9780198662709. Archived from the original on 2011-08-10.