Tuesday, 21 September 2010


Some fifteen years after first reciting the office of Terce at CSMV Wantage, I have realised why this office of the Holy Spirit is scheduled at about 9am. To quote St Peter on the day of Pentecost: "these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o'clock in the morning" (Acts 2.15; NRSV). Terce means the third hour, that is, 9am. Likewise, Sext is recited at about the sixth hour (at Wantage), when darkness came over Jesus upon the cross, and None at about the ninth hour (at Burford/Broad Marston/Mucknell), when Jesus died. Both therefore remember the crucifixion and typically use the more sombre psalms.

Each member of the community has more than one job, for example acting as prior, sacristan, incense manufacturer, web-brother, pastor for alongsiders, and lunch cook for the week. It is like visiting a small Scottish island, where an islander might be a part-time (we hope!) fire-fighter and run the postal service as well as fishing for their livelihood. It makes for a tightly-knit web of relationships and dependencies. No-one can be a self-sufficient individual on a Scottish island or in a Benedictine community.

In the evening, Stuart's report from his site visit to Mucknell wasn't good news. The date in the contract was 4 October, but the snow early in the year delayed the work, compounded with problems with some sub-contracts. So the hope was that the move would be during the week of 18 October, but it looks as though it will now be the week of 25 October. I felt down, and I'm going to be at Broad Marston for little more than a month; the community has lived with this for two years!

No comments:

Post a Comment