Some time in early February, I went on a retreat with the university's Catholic Society to Ampleforth Abbey somewhere (in the middle of nowhere) in York. Notice how my articles nowadays are so out of date? (>.<)
Anyway, Ampleforth Abbey is an abbey with a considerably large community of Benedictine monks. The monks have dedicated their lives living a communal life, away from the world, and using their time fully in prayer, slience or reflection.
From what I understand, the monks here gather and pray six times a day according to the Liturgy of the Hours. These include Matins at 6am, Lauds at 7:30am, Conventual Mass, Little Hour, Vespers at 6:30pm and Compline at 9pm. At these times, the church bells are rung as a call for prayer. Most of these prayers involves old monks chanting psalms, like this one which I recorded. Will you be able to do this every day? I'll definitely go insane. The earliest I was willing to get up for was the 7:30am one (>.<) Also, we had some sessions highlighting various monastic virtues, including humility and listening. Also, there was discussions on Lectio Divina.
Now that I have bored you with all these spiritual stuff, here are some more happy touristy stuff (^,^).
It was still snowing at the time I was there, so the whole place was blanketed with snow. It was a magnificent sight.
(The Alban Roe house where we were staying...)
As expected of a monastery, the buildings are old and rustic, giving you a Harry-Potter-like feel.
(Love the statues!!)
Inside the church. My flash was turned off out of respect, so the result was a blurry picture.
Oooooooh... long, dark, spooky corridors.... me likey... (^www^)
A long dark narrow stairway leading to... goodness knows where. I think it leads to the school, which from what I've heard is a very posh boarding school.
I also spent an afternoon walking to the nearby village.
Sceneries on the way to the village...
Of course, who can resist taking pictues of cute little sheep playing in the snow? (^,^)
From the bus on the way back home, the scenery was breathtaking.
I've managed to complete this article without showing you pictures of all the great food I've had when I was there. Isn't that amazing? (>.<)
31 March 09
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