Sunday at Glasshampton   1 comment

Today is the last full day of this retreat and is a Sunday.  I can’t remember ever having been at Glasshampton on a Sunday before because for family reasons in the past I have retreated mid-week.  Sunday is a more relaxed day, not that the atmosphere here is ever tense or intense.  There are no scheduled work periods for the brothers, although some have preaching commitments etc. elsewhere from time to time, and someone has to do the cooking and make things ready for the services.  The day though follows its normal rhythm around the 5 services: Morning Prayer; the Eucharist; Mid-Day Prayer; Evening Prayer and my favourite Night Prayer.  The Eucharist is slightly more grand (they get the incense out, as they do on major Saints days) and the liturgy is slightly extended.  Then we had a full roast beef lunch today.  I have entered into this more relaxed atmosphere which seemed appropriate after yesterday’s time in solitude.  I have not done any heavy reading today, I have allowed myself to make a few Facebook posts and engaged in brief conversations with some of the brothers and fellow guests.  The rest of the time while on retreat I have remained mostly in silence only speaking when necessary to ask for something or when meeting with my retreat guide.  I should not give the impression that I have been as noisy and chatty as I would be at home.  I have still spent most of the day on my own and in silence.  Those that know me as a gregarious chatterbox might think I would find that hard, but I don’t, instead I find it refreshing. And even at home I spend a lot of time in just my own company but there I would normally have the radio or TV on neither of which I have here (some of the brothers have a radio and keep up with the news

Those not used to monastic retreat might think that the life of a monk (or monastic friar as at Glasshampton) is one shut away from the world but for most this is not the case.  They are deeply interested in world affairs and will pray intelligently and in an informed way about them.  I remember when Br. Ramon was being a hermit, isolated in a caravan in West Wales he later told me that a thing he prayed about a lot was nuclear weapons and for world peace.  This coincided with a period in recent history when disarmament treaties were being signed and tension between the major powers was being reduced.  Who am I to say that the prayers of a ‘mad’ Welsh friar, living as a hermit did not have a role in that?  I will save it for another blog post to set forward how I have come to an understanding of how intercessionary prayer works.

I return to this blog after we have said and sung Night Prayer.  As I said above it is my favourite service; its liturgy is just right for the ending of the day.  So, as it approaches 10pm I feel very tired but content. I will be soon in bed, at least two hours before I would normally do at home.

It has been a good Sunday at Glasshampton with a healthy balance between rest, prayer and worship.


Posted July 26, 2015 by Martyn Cooper in Uncategorized

One response to “Sunday at Glasshampton

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  1. Thanks for sharing Martyn. Alan

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