I would like to thank you all for the many christmas greetings which we received one way or another – thanks!
I hope that you are having a wonderful joyous season… there are 12 days of christmas and here we are nearly half way through already, it comes to a climas with the great feast of the Epiphany (which we will celebrate on sunday 3rd Jan this time)…. so what has happened for us so far – well on christmas eve we celebrated matins at 11.15pm which was (and always is) very peaceful and awe inspiring with the solemn liturgy……after which our chaplain blessed the crib in such a wonderful and simple way, we never had a blessing before so it was lovely to have at the beginning of the solemn christmas mid-night mass. At the end of mass we usually gather round the crib and sing a carol – this year we sang O Little Town of Bethlehem…. after wishing the congregation a very happy and holy christmas (which was very few), the community gathers in the chapter room to wish each other a happy christmas – then its bed time…..
Christmas Day : We got up early after 5 hrs sleep and had Lauds which was integrated with the Dawn Mass, followed by brekkies….. in which there was a lovely parcel waiting to be opened by each one of us in our places. The day is spent relativly quietly with tea together – this happens for the Octave of Christmas.
28th Dec : Today i was in the kitchen and for supper we prepared a High Tea – which means that we for go afternoon tea and have early supper so as teaa/supper are together….this was at 5pm foll. by vespers/compline
(Pics will follow later!) HERE THEY ARE AT LAST …………………..
Crib in the Choir
I want to wish you all a very MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Well, its not fair………….looks like everywhere else has got snow around the country and poor old Colwich has none…at the very best there is still a hard frost but not enough to show up on photos at all!!!!
Here are a few pics though of our preparations for christmas, i’ll get some photos during the festivities as well – well we do have a fortnight off till the Epiphany. http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/novblog/Advent09?authkey=Gv1sRgCNbw-JLc1-v-Pw&feat=directlink
And now, just a few thoughts on Christmas………..“The Word was made flesh and lived among us, and we saw his glory, the glory that is his as the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth” – Jn 1:14.
It is hard to beleive that in just a short space of time as we know – in fact, 4 weeks (approx), we have to prepare for the Birth of all births – this is what we know as Christmas. Christ was born for us! It is truly an amazing occassion that ‘Emmanuel’ (which means – God is with us)’ has visited us. ……………… We spend our time preparing for this event full of excitement and great anticipation through exchanging presents, cards with family and friends both those who are near at hand and thosse who are far away. Food and decorations need to be dealt with and anything that we feel we need to do, to make it an extra special occassion. Everything has to be just right! But what about this event that happened about 2000 yrs ago? Can we really capture the same awe at the birth of this special baby? We try out best to, but perhaps fail miserably……but what of the circumstances that Mary and Joseph found themselves in? They were strangers with no home, they had to find shelter which was a cave were animals were kept……Mary laid her baby in a Manger – which was a feeding trough….It would have been noisy not to mention smelly…(so much for our modern day standards of Health and Hygiene)…Shepherds came and adored the baby Jesus and this would have surprised the parents some what…..It wasn’t a ‘cushy affair’. We can get tied up with all the pomp and trimmings that go with Christmas, we need to celebrate someones birthday – we do all the time for family and friends – but this is on a much larger scale and it has an unprecidented effect….well after all God did become man and its something we cannot fully grasp here and now (and we can all say ‘he did it for me’ ), but at the end of the day let us not forget what the real meaning of christmas is.
So take care and have a very happy and holy christmas —— and i’ll be back soon with some more pics – i hope!!!
Hi folks just a bit of humour i thought you might like to know of……………….
This week being the 3rd week of advent we are listening to Handel’s Messiah at supper time just before next week listening to christmas carols – ‘so we are slowing down gradually for the holiday season’. Well the point is this – during supper time i had been distracted listening to the music by some small movement in the courtyard. Where i sit in the refectory i am opposite the window side and can see things moving about occassionally, and this particular time things were passing by at a great rate so after supper i thought that i’d just stay watching to find out what is was…..was it a rat or a squirrel got caught in and couldn’t find his way out again or what?????? I was surprised to discover (and yet not really surprised) that it was 2 wood mice. They are following each other to and fro picking up bread crumbs, bird food etc and berries, probably to feed a family. Well what has attracted them was it the sweet sound of Handel’s Messiah, the light of the refectory windows, the chance to be on public display or the thought of perhaps finding a nice ‘niche’ on the other side? It’s really quite entertaining to see – you could almost nickname them ‘handels christmas mice’!
Well advent seems to hardly to have started and now its nearly over but i will be posting one more item before christmas eve then i will take a few days off (well i won’t get time anyhow to do anything as our timetable changes)
Season’s Greetings to all
Well it is that time of year again……. Yes, Advent is here, so what is happening at Colwich? Once more yummy smells are circleling round the monastery with the traditional ginger biscuits being made which incidentally we get handed out on the eve of the 1st Sunday of Advent, these are supposed to ‘keep us going during these few weeks’. Christmas puds have been mixed (both by hand by all the sisters and making a small wish – and the major work on the good old mixer ( nicknamed martha)), christmas cakes have also been made and are in the process of getting marzipan and icing on. The Avent wreathe was made for the choir and the candle was lit during mass by our chaplain. We also have it lit during Vespers. At Mass for 1st Sunday of advent we were reminded about the 3 comings of Our Lord (past, present and future). For me, i always try (note that i say try…) to remember especially those people who are homeless for one reason or another either because they have been thrown out of home or that they have left throgh their own choice… but its not easy for them whatever the circumstances. I tend to link this up through that christmas eve night when the Holy family are on their way to Bethlehem and on arrival ‘there was no room for them at the inn’. I guess, this was brought home to me during my pilgrimages to Lourdes.
We also have our annual ‘Walk with me’ Booklets which are given out each Advent and Lent and this week there have been 2 powerful thoughts which are relevent to how we spend our Christmas after this preparation time. It is the season of Love, Joy and Hope. How are we with hospitality and the way we treat each other? Another one was: that Christmas can be a harsh, sad and difficult time for those on their own, or loved ones are far away, etc….. This is the time to be kind for it shows through us by words and actions, ‘for God can use each one of us to let his kindness and love be known in so many ways’ (these last few words are from ‘walk with me’.
God Bless and happy advent!
I just wanted to say a few words about a incident which happened this morning…… As it does each wednesday i am in the kitchen as supply cook, but half way through the morning i checked to see if i had any mail this morning (i rarely get any so i just check in case forever hopeful….), well anyhow there was a large packet put in my place in the refectory and it was addressed to Sr. Benedict and myself. Sr. Benedict left me to open it and it turned out to be an ‘early christmas present to us both from a fan of the colwich blog’. The book had arrived and it is of poems and meditations on nature and beauty!
So we thank you very, very much ‘K’ for this wonderful surprise and will enjoy reading through it. Don’t be too long in sending that email – or letter we can’t wait to hear from you. At the moment it is in the workroom for all the community to look at.
So thank you everyone and have a very happy advent and christmas, i am preparing a post for advent at the moment and our Danish guest is going to write a few words before she leaves to go back home.