Tag: liturgy

a weekend in silence…(cont.)

continued from the previous entry

After my hike on Friday afternoon, the rest of the weekend was filled with pretty much the same stuff.  I did some reading, worked on a couple poems and reflected in silence.  All the while keeping the monastic hours.

The monastic day officially starts at 4:15am with Vigils and ends at approximately 8pm with Compline.  It was surprisingly easy to adjust to this schedule with the relaxed nature of the weekend.  Despite getting up at 4am each day, I woke up refreshed.

I didn’t really come out of the weekend with any answers (though I didn’t really expect to either).  I’m fairly certain that the trappist ideal is not a possible vocation for me.  While I am perfectly comfortable in the silence, I think part of me needs to have a connection to the community at large.  I identified one of the major reasons that it would be difficult for me to ever consider converting to the Roman Catholic church.  It is my belief that mass should be shared with everyone, whether they of a different denomination or even if they aren’t Christians.  If someone wants to come to the table, they should be able to participate fully.

I’ll definitely do something like this again, it was a great way to recharge.

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a weekend in silence…

…or close to it.

Friday morning, October 20th, my friend and I left the apartment building at 5:15 am.  She had graciously agreed to drive me out to Lafayette for my weekend retreat.  The goal was to get there before the beginning of the Lauds at 6:30am.

I was to spending the weekend at Our Lady of Guadalupe Trappist Abbey.  I had set up the retreat initially to talk to one of the brothers about participating in the Monastic Life Retreat the abbey offers.  However, by the time the weekend rolled around, I knew that this would not be the focus of my weekend after all.

At home I left most of the trappings of my day to day life.  I brought with me only a change of clothes, some books for reading and reflection and my moleskine notebook in which to write (I even left my watch at home).

The abbey itself is located on approximately 1400 acres of land on the west side of the Dundee hills.  This is an area now famous for its numerous world famous vineyards (in fact Sokel Blosser’s vineyards border the east side of the abbey’s land).  The abbey’s land is however largely forested with the exception of some farm land at the base of the hill.  The monks use this land to grow vegetables they use for food.

Back to my story…

After Laud’s (which is actually the second service of the monastic hours), I had to wait until my room was available.  During this time I sat out on the deck of the reception area and read a bit from the collection of poetry by Rumi I had brought with me. Shortly before noon, I was told my room was ready.  The room I would be staying in over the weekend was simple.  A twin bed, a desk and a rocking chair.  Perfect simplicity.

12:30 brought the Sext service.  After which came a silent dinner with other retreatants.  We would be eating a vegetarian diet for the weekend (as the monks themselves do).  After supper I decided to head off to the trails above the abbey’s buildings.  Near the top of the hill there is a shrine to the Lady Guadalupe that made a good goal.   While there were defined trails, they were still not the heavily used trails I was used to.  At times the trail even had a blanket of growth covering it completely.

 

 

One of the best things about this short hike, was that I didn’t run into anyone else on the hike.  It was just me and the trees.

More to come later…

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Excerpts from the Ordination Service

From the Book of Common Prayer:

As a priest, it will be your task to proclaim by word and deed the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to fashion your life in accordance with its precepts.  You are to love and serve the people among whom you work, caring alike for young and old, strong and weak, rich and poor.  You are to preach, to declare God’s forgiveness to penitent sinners, to pronounce God’s blessing, to share in the administration of Holy Baptism and in the celebration of the mysteries of Christ’s Body and Blood, and to perform the other ministrations entrusted to you.

In all that you do, you are to nourish Christ’s people from the riches of his grace, and strengthen them to glorify God in this life and in the life to come.

Will you respect and be guided by the pastoral direction and leadership of your bishop?

Will you be diligent in the reading and study of the Holy Scriptures, and in seeking the knowledge of such things as may make you a stronger and more able minister of Christ?

Will you endeavor so to minister the Word of God and the sacraments of the New Covenant, that the reconciling love of Christ may be known and received?

Will you undertake to be a faithful pastor to all whom you are called to serve, laboring together with them and with your fellow ministers to build up the family of God?

Will you do your best to pattern your life [and that of your family, household, or community] in accodance with the teachings of Christ, so that you may be a wholesome example to your people?

Will you persevere in prayer, both in public and in private, asking God’s grace, both for yourself and for others, offering all your labors to God, through the mediation of Jesus Christ, and in the sanctification of the Holy Spirit? 

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on a ordination

last night i attended an ordination for the first time.  my old chaplain at the UofO was ordained into the transitional deaconate.  for me personally…it was just a public affirmation/ceremony of something that was already apparent.

the service itself was very traditional and formal.  and while that isn’t the style of liturgy i’m used to these days…i was still able to connect with it.  its one of the things i love about the church…the wide variety of liturgical expressions i’ve been exposed to.

it was also interesting for me to view this service with the idea that it could be me as the “subject” behind the service some day soon.  as a result there were a few things that i particularly reacted to.  however those will be touched on in a later blog entry this weekend.

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…Maundy Thursday (cont.)

…one the the places i always feel most connected to my “call” is during the Maundy Thursday service.  It always seems to ground my feeling of the call.  When I’m having doubts about my call to the priesthood…it brings me back into it.  When my call is getting a little egoistic…it helps to bring me back to my knees and ground me.

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Maundy Thursday

I feel such a visceral connection to the services of holy week.  None more so than maundy thursday service though.  I would like my life to mirror the prinicples of the Maundy Thursday service.

And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean.

 When we are down on our knees, washing anothers feet, we are completely vulnerable.  But more importantly we are in service to them, humbling ourselves to them.  It is something I always want to be concious of, being humble and in service to all around me.

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