Early Irish hymnody
The arrival of Christianity in Ireland is commonly associated with the mission of St Patrick in the 5th century, though there were certainly some groups of Christians in the island at an earlier date. The early history of Irish Christianity (including details of Patrick's work) remains tantalisingly obscure, but what is certain is that, subsequently, monasticism developed rapidly in Ireland, so that from the middle of the 6th century onwards substantial monastic foundations were to be found in all parts of the island: these were of a distinctive Irish character and were extremely active in worship, learning and evangelism.
Irish monks travelled far in their missionary...
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