Actually all information points towards something completely different Rosebud. In fact, the Stowe Missal shows a Rite of Catholicism that was bound up in the essential beauty of nature as an entry way to understanding the beauty of the Divine Godhead. Irish Missionaries used the Celtic Rite established by St. Patrick to help renew and evangelize Europe, who at the time was suffering from wayward priests, large delineation from the scriptures and unholy living amongst the laity.
The writings of St. Columbanus actually show a rigid prayer life that rivals even our monks today. They performed 25 psalms in the course of three night sessions. They were deeply penitential, yet understanding that their eternal salvation came only from Christ.
“O Lord, may these gifts which are offered be sacrificed, and cleanse us from the blot of our sins, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who reigneth with thee, and the Holy Spirit, throughout all ages of ages”.
"I pray to thee, O Father; I ask intercession of Thee, O Son, I appeal to thee, O Holy Spirit.
Jesus Christ, Alpha and Omega: this is the first and the Last.
May the Father remit, may the Son pardon, may the Holy Spirit have mercy."
These prayers from the Celtic Missal show a people who were very much involved with the ordering of their eternal salvation. They have a deep theological tradition that intertwines the natural theology of the ancient Celts with the Biblical and Ecclesial Theology of the Apostles and the Church. This is what the Church calls “inculturation” and has been used since the beginning of the Church. This doesn’t look like a hallow meaningless shell. In fact, the faith is determinant on the acceptance of the liturgy by the participant. I know many people who go to Mass and they get nothing out of it, its just a “hallow meaningless shell” because they don’t devote their life to God and participate in the prayers like they should with their whole heart.
The reason why Pope Leo supported the Norman invasion in 1167 was because the Church was displaying many facets of life that was contrary to the prescribed Roman way. The ancient Celtic liturgy came from the Gallican rite which had deep Eastern roots. In fact, the Stowe missal actually prescribes that Leavened Bread be used within the rite for the distribution of communion. Also the Celtic Church used Icons instead of statues and they were more focused on penitential acts and the salvation by faith and works (emphasis on the works). Since this was after the Great Schism of 1054, the Pope was seeking to unify the west in certain liturgical practices, just not unified rites. He ordered the Church to do away with the Leavened Bread and start using Unleavened Bread for the Mass. The Celtic Church said they would “work on it” and they did nothing. Finally tired of dealing with their Insolence, the Pope backed the Norman invasion of 1167 and forced the changes himself, completely dismantling the Celtic Rite and forcing the use of unleavened bread, statues and many other sacramentals. Since the Normans had already invaded Scotland in 1066, Ireland was the last bastion and it was the fall of the Celtic Rite. We don’t see the rite used legally after that date, although we do know that some Priests were still using it into the thirteenth century.
So to answer your question, why? Because its our heritage. My family is Irish and Scottish. We were evangelized by St. Patrick and St. Columba. Our Patriarch and Apostle is St. Patrick and that’s who we should follow. He was given permission by Rome to establish the rite, but because of politics in the 11th-12th century it was destroyed. We should work to reviving it because ultimately its apart of our people’s tradition. A tradition that has been suppressed for over 900 years. I have great pride in the effect of my people on the world and its shaping. 367 BC we burned Rome to the ground and started the fire that would become the Roman Empire. We worked to renew the Church in the 6th and 7th centuries and our people’s faith has been called the Jewel of the Catholic Church. The Celtic Rite is WHO we are in our worship to God. It is the prayers and offerings of a people who are deeply rooted in nature and in Christ. In fact when you look at the Protestant Church, especially the Presbyterian Church, you see the roots of ancient Celtic thought.
Why revive? Because at the end of the day its our people’s worship to God. Its our people’s way of standing before God and giving him honor and praise that connects us with our Fathers who have gone before us. That is enough for me.