Sept 8 – Celebration of the Liturgy
Our September Conversation Groups invite us to respond to several practical questions in the always delicate subject of Liturgy. This month we are sharing our thoughts and experiences of recent changes to our celebration of the liturgy, especially at Compline. We are also encouraged to give suggestions that might “increase both the inner sense of the monastic vocation and communion among the brothers” or otherwise enhance our experience of the liturgy throughout the various hours of the day. Finally, in light of mobility limitations experienced by some of our priests, we will give our opinion on the use of a movable altar to facilitate their continued function as main celebrant at Eucharist.
from Constitutions and Statutes of the Monks and Nuns of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance:
The spiritual character of the community is especially evident in the celebration of the liturgy. The liturgy strengthens and increases both the inner sense of the monastic vocation and communion among the brothers. Each day in the liturgy God’s Word is heard. A sacrifice of praise is offered to God the Father, thus sharing in the mystery of Christ and the Holy Spirit’s work of sanctification is accomplished. The changing seasons of the liturgical year have great power to nourish and enrich the contemplative life of the brothers. They provide a solid basis for the preaching and teaching given to the community.
Conversation Groups (CG)
The purpose of the CGs is to provide a forum where the brothers “come together to listen to the Spirit speaking through one another,” to foster skills of good communication that will promote mutual understanding and trust (Gdlns 2), and to provide the superior with the data he needs for taking decisions with foresight and fairness by the brothers humbly and honestly expressing their views (RB 3)