The monthly oblate meeting was this past Sunday at the abbey.
My wife and I had our 1-year-old grandson stay with us on Saturday night and we were not able to get up Sunday morning after a late night with him not wanting to go to sleep, drop him off at his parent’s house in the morning, and drive the 45 minutes to the abbey by 10:00 am — but we should have.
The sequence of events at the abbey on oblate Sundays is:
1. Mass at 10:00 am
2. Oblate novice class at 11:15 am
3. Midday prayer with the monks at about noon.
5. Oblate class 1:30 pm to about 3:00 pm
These times may not be exact, I do not pay any attention to the time while there, I arrive and move with everyone to each next event.
[Bookstore browsing 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm — this is not part of the planned activities, but many people like to spend time after the oblate meetings looking through the well-supplied book and gift shop at the abbey — often we will hear of a new book in class and want to buy it.]
Most everyone leaves for home between 3:30 pm and 5:30pm.
On most oblate Sundays my wife and I usually stay for vespers at 5:00 pm, because we typically are in the abbey bookstore until it closes at 4:00 pm and we walk the abbey grounds or sit in the front of the church until about 4:40 pm when we go into the church to prepare for prayers at 5:00 pm. So, for us we are usually heading home at 5:30 pm on oblate Sundays.
However, last Sunday we left the abbey to come back home at about 3:45 pm because we were very tired and when we got home we went to bed about 8:30 pm — and we are night owls by nature.
So that's the typical schedule. I included it for those who might not have any idea about the overall structure of an oblate Sunday -- at least at the abbey we know.
One of the primary feelings I have on oblate Sundays is the sense of being part of an old tradition. While memory is a friend to many religious institutions, memory is the guestmaster of monasticism.
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