Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Oblates Weekend - Sunday

Now firmly settled into the routine of the Community, Sunday commenced as usual with Vigils for the early-birds and a slightly later (approximately half an hour) Lauds, Prime and Terce for those wishing a long Sunday lie-in.

Conventual Mass was offered at 10.00 am and the first conference of the day followed thereafter.  As I indicated in my previous post, today's conferences were held "indoors" and mutterings of 'I knew I should have packed me winter woollies' were quelled.  

Fr Benedict was first up to the mark and gave a highly informative talk on Gregorian Chant; a subject on which he is a noted scholar and much sought after speaker though too modest to admit such.  Father very quickly warmed us up, at least vocally, by encouraging us all to sing selected excerpts as we explored chant scripts and notations especially those from the famous Manuscript Einsiedeln 121 (circa 1000), St Gall Cantatorium MS (late 800's) and Laon MS (mid 900's).

The afternoon conference was given by a fellow Oblate, the Rev. Fr. Dr. Stuart Chalmers.  Father chose an extract from his doctoral thesis - Conscience.  Thankfully his style of delivery on what could have been a very dense subject, well to a dumbo like me anyway, ensured that no-one succumbed an afternoon "power nap" as today's jargon calls it.

After None there was time for confessions and soon a queue formed in the hallway and all four priests, including the Abbot, offered Our Lord's saving Grace for the good of our souls.

Following the evening offices of Vespers and Compline, not forgetting another pleasant supper, we settled down to a DVD made for us by Gabrielle Heitfeld-Panther, a German Cistercian Oblate and friend of Pluscarden Abbey.  Gabrielle's video showed her life and activities as a mother and an Oblate.  It was good to see how others fulfilled their life as an Oblate.

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