Self-sufficiency has always been a Carmelite virtue, rooted in the reforms which St. Teresa of Avila brought to the community in the 16th Century. That Carmel is “all Mary’s” rings true in every Carmelite’s heart. Holy Mass is at 8:30am, and the community meets directly afterwards. Midmorning Prayer. As the hebdomadary for this new week, it is my joy and privilege to intone the hymn while the whole choir then joins in! Discalced Carmelite Nuns. Being a postulant is an opportunity to get used to the daily routine of the nuns' life, learn the different work of the house and get to know the community. No, Carmel is a desert that is brimming with life and beauty. Several times a day, the sisters congregate in the chapel. The 80-year-old contemplative nun discusses her daily routine, becoming a nun and her Christmas plans. We are the St. Therese community of Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites (OCDS) in Hudson, New Hampshire, under the guidance of the Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars. The hour of free time or “siesta” is preceded by a community visit to the Blessed Sacrament. Reaching the choir, I see that the Sister Sacristan has just finished putting the linen cloth in the Communion window of our choir grate. Our ordinary day begins with a knock and the call: “Praised be Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary, His Mother. St. Teresa’s special insight and wisdom in creating a healthy balance among prayer, work, recreation and rest is evident throughout the daily schedule she decided on for her nuns. Nothing that is done through love is small or insignificant, be it mopping the corridors, cleaning the community room, answering community mail, working in our little library, or helping with mending in the sewing room. In 1790, the first Carmelite monastery in the United States was founded in Maryland. For us, then, Matinsis said later in the evening and actually is the first part of the Divine Office for the following day. In Carmelite liturgy one focuses on the Word as this was received by Mary and has become flesh in Jesus. For the second time during the day, we pray the Angelus at the beginning of our community recreation. How, then, do we pay this debt? The Prioress then gives each Sister the traditional night blessing with the words “May the all-powerful Lord grant you a peaceful night and a perfect end.” In response I make the Sign of the Cross and, as a token of obedience, kiss the Scapular she extends to me. Christian women who vowed to live a simple ascetic life of chastity in order to honour God, acquire knowledge and do charitable work are attested to from the 4th century CE if not earlier, just as far back as Christian men who led such a life in the remote parts of Egypt and Syria. It is a special blessing for the Church”. Soon an outdoor bell is ringing to alert one and all that shortly it will be time for the next “Little Hour” — Sext, or Midday Prayer. Rising then, I offer my heart anew to Jesus through Mary as I clothe myself once again with her holy habit, both a privilege and a joy to wear, and start down to the choir. Come to prayer, Sisters, come to praise the Lord!” Simple though they be, these few words capture the essence of what a Carmelite’s whole life is all about; namely, prayer and praise of God. The documentary, “Unleashing the Gospel in Detroit,” offers a glimpse of what life is like behind the walls and grilles of a cloistered community. At the same time He accepts the gift of myself which I make to Him in return, uniting me with His Sacrifice, offering me to the Father in the Holy Spirit, allowing me to share in the work of redemption. The five founding nuns came at the invitation of Bishop Robert Armstrong. As solitude and silence are important aids to interior recollection and prayer, this opportunity to spend time alone with the Lord in one’s cell is so precious to everyone here. Its very name, karem-el, means “Garden of God”. Wearing mantles and holding lighted candles, we process from the chapter room to the choir while the organist plays an interlude. After our meals, there are always plenty of dishes to be washed. The routine includes a 4am rise, regular prayers, masses, dinner at 12.30pm and a lunchtime siesta. 6:00 Angelus in the chior followed by 1 hour of mental prayer. Around 9 a.m., Catholic nuns begin their daily work. Scripture, the writings of Sts. This daily domestic duty shared in by all is also used as an opportunity to offer a few prayers for the many intentions recommended to our prayers each day. In keeping with the tradition of the Church, we sing the major ho… After Vespers, the nuns would have a light supper. Please call ahead for current Mass time. Six nuns (ranging in age from 52 to 100) is simply not enough womanpower for the monastery to continue supporting itself. Recreation is an important part of our daily schedule because it is meant not simply to be a diversion from our prayer and work, but a real and necessary time of renewal for all, a “re-creation” enabling us to begin again afterwards with fresh fervor and energy. For this story, Carmelite Sister Cushla borrowed our reporter's camera to document scenes of the nuns' daily life, offering the world a glimpse behind the wall. Lauds (Morning Prayer) One hour of mental prayer. The Wheeling, West Virginia, monastery was founded in 1913, and in 1957, the six founding nuns left Wheeling and came to Erie. The medieval Book of the First Monks, tells a story tracing the spiritual ancestry of the Carmelite Order back to Elijah and his school of prophets.This work draws the meaning of the habit from the biblical wilderness prophets. As Carmelite nuns we observe enclosure, which essentially means we may only leave the grounds of the monastery for medical reasons or other real necessities. You must be in your cell by 9:30 pm. After this, a few minutes are spent in an examination of conscience. 7:00 Lauds (morning prayer). A much-loved tradition in Carmel follows; namely, the chanting of the solemn “Salve” in honor of Our Lady. On my way I meet one of the other Sisters headed for the laundry room to start a load of wash. Breakfast. Along with the prayer of praise (…by night I will sing to him, praise the God of my life… Ps. However, Saturdays during the summer months are considered “garden days” in which all who can do so spend time working outdoors, in the garden itself or taking care of the yard and the various shrines around the grounds. Now the time of Great Silence begins once again; in the peaceful quiet of this free time before Matins, I like to pray the Stations of the Cross in the choir before going to my cell. 12.00 Midday Prayer, sung in English. In an exchange of letters with Mother Mary Seraphine, the founding prioress, the Bishop had inquired what would be … Immediately after reciting the Angelus together, we begin that part of the Divine Office called Lauds or Morning Prayer, our morning praise of God. Copyright © 2018 Carmel of Maria Regina. Almost immediately I notice, too, that the familiar hum of the altar bread mixer is silent today, until I recall that it is Saturday, and there is no baking of altar breads on this day. Please pray for a speedy return to a normal schedule Discalced Carmelite Nuns in the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon. As I drift off to sleep, hopefully these words from the Song of Songs, “I sleep but my heart keeps watch,” will be true for me also, until it is time to rise once again, refreshed and ready when the Lord’s gift of another day in Carmel dawns. The Prioress then invites all the Sisters to pray an Our Father and a Hail Mary for them and their intentions. At the heart of the a call to the way of life of the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles is a profound and intimate friendship with Christ. 12:45 PM - Dinner and cleanup (followed by free time). Immediately following is the beautiful Litany of Our Lady, prayed alternately by two psalmisters and the other Sisters. He is the source and summit of every moment of our day from our early mornings filled with prayer to the daily overflowing of that prayer into our loving service of God’s people. The head of a convent was an abbess or mother superior. After speaking to the Lord with my mind, heart, and lips, I now remain with Him in silence—a silence not empty but filled with His living presence. Terce (Before Noon Prayer) From this hour of prayer, one steps naturally into what is certainly the greatest act of praise and worship of God in our entire day: the Mass. 19.00: Compline, the last service of the day. Refreshed by this little break in our daily activity, we go to the choir for None, the last of the three “Little Hours,” in which our minds are directed once again to the consummation of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross. For the first generations of Carmelites, mental prayer was the reflecting on the Word of God as it came to the Carmelite in the choir, in the refectory, in the chapter-room, and throughout his day. 7:30 Mass (time may vary). In Sacramento, the Vine of Carmel was planted on December 25, 1935. At the close of recreation both at noon and in the evening, we have the beautiful custom of saying a short prayer for the dying. In front of the fence is a clay bank and a pathway leading down to the nuns… Eucharist is concelebrated daily at 7:00 AM (after Lauds at 6:30) and on Sunday at 10:00 AM. — the first words spoken for all to hear by the Sister who turns off the alarm have never lost their fresh appeal: “Praised be Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary, His Mother. The lifestyle of the nuns Often a monastery of Carmelite nuns is referred to as a 'Carmel'. Photo Credits. The Carmelite Nuns, aware of having received from God a special gift to collaborate in the salvific mission of Christ and the Church, offer their lives of prayer and penance for the good of the Church of her pastors, and for the salvation of souls. So now, once more, it is time to take up the tasks I have been assigned as my particular contribution to the smooth running of the house. With thanks to one of the Carmelite Nuns in Iron Mountain, Michigan, for sharing her personal reflections. Words by St. John Paul II to the Carmelite Nuns in 1982. Beginning with a brief examination of conscience and concluding with the chanting of the simple Salve Regina, it ushers in the few remaining hours of our day. Following this, nuns would go straight to bed. After Terce, the community takes a light breakfast before each Sister goes to her assigned duties. The solemn celebration of the liturgy is the heart of our whole life and the chief source of its unity. Our Chapel is a public one and anyone is welcome to join us for our daily Mass. How awesome to realize that at this moment my voice is joined not only with my Sisters here but with the entire Church in honoring, glorifying, and thanking You, as well as interceding for the needs of all! Together with my Sisters, I desire to sanctify the morning’s work by uniting it to the Passion of Christ, which is usually the focus of this part of the Divine Office. Daily Thoughts From the Little Flower This gem is now in print again. As the day begins to wind down, so to speak, this next hour of quiet prayer is a blessing. Through it, we are called to a hidden union with God in friendship with Christ, in familiarity with the Blessed Virgin Mary, and in an existence in which prayer and immolation blend into a great love for the Church. 7:30 * Holy Mass/ Thanksgiving. And how is it, Lord, that You have brought me here—have granted me the grace of being in Carmel? Elijah is usually depicted in icons wearing a hairy garment, and John the Baptist was clothed in camel hair with a leather belt around his waist. The sisters organize the afternoon between Mid-Afternoon Prayer, Spiritual Reading and work time. This is recited while by twos we are processing to the choir until each is at her place. A marked development of this period is the introduction of specified periods of mental prayer into the daily routine. Carmelite nuns are 'cloistered', living a life of 'enclosure'. Here we spend a few minutes honoring Our Lord, with prayers also to the Holy Angels and, lastly, our daily novena prayer to the Infant of Prague for all the intentions recommended to our prayers by so many people. The nuns spend the bulk of their days by themselves. Design by Inscape. After our meals, there are always plenty of dishes to be washed. They stand, bow, and pray in rhythmic spoken chant. Indeed, some of the most famous ascetics of that period were women, including the reformed prostitute Saint Mary of Egypt (c. 344-c. 421 CE) who famously s… 6:00 Matins & Lauds (Morning Prayer) 6:30 Mental Prayer. Here Our Lord satisfies the very real hunger for holiness by giving Himself, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, in Holy Communion. Almost a year later, Garcia was well-accustomed to the Carmelite daily routine of prayer and work. Before too many months had passed, Anne asked to be admitted to the monastery, also! According to the Carmelite Nuns in Great Britain, this work varies from monastery to monastery. One of the signs maps out the nuns' daily horarium. All rights reserved. But above all the activity going on is the mutual sharing that continues to bond us as a family. As I pass by the kitchen and refectory, the lights that are on tell me that another Sister is making her usual preparations for breakfast. The routine includes a 4am rise, regular prayers, masses, dinner at 12.30pm and a lunchtime siesta. While we normally bring some work with us to recreation, it is not so much what we do that is important here, but that we spend this time together, talking, laughing, sharing the “adventures” of the day. It is literally impossible to give an accurate impression of a day in the life of a Carmelite nun. No matter how one may want to look at it, five o’clock is truly early in the morning; and it is at this time that the stillness of the monastery is abruptly broken by the alarm. Now, after a long but blessed day, I return to our cell, tired, yes, but peaceful and happy, too. © 2018-2019, Institute on Religious Life. The Discalced Carmelite Nuns will be featured during a special half-hour segment at 5:30 p.m. Friday, July 26, and again 2:30 a.m. Saturday, July 27, on the Eternal Word Television Network. Extending the praise and worship of the Lord throughout the day, the Divine Office, or Liturgy of the Hours, gathers all the various times of the day so that they may be truly sanctified. The clock now strikes ten and the community leaves the choir in silence; we kneel in the corridor just outside the choir as one of the Sisters sounds the clappers and gives a short spiritual thought for us to reflect on while preparing to retire. St. Teresa once remarked “prayer consists not in thinking much but in loving much.” There are many ways this love can be expressed; but for me it is enough simply to be aware of and to abide in His presence, listening to Him as He speaks to my heart through the Scriptures or the reflections His grace inspires. One of the signs maps out the nuns’ daily horarium. Read More>> As Adrienne described the daily routine of the Monastery, Anne became more and more interested in the rhythmical pattern of life that her friend described. After Mass we end our period of personal thanksgiving with our daily renewal of vows. Although we are cloistered nuns and do not have any active apostolate, since our one apostolate is prayer, that does not mean this vocation is dull and devoid of life. “It is a wonderful thing to be hidden with Jesus for one’s whole life, keeping Him in your hearts and seeking in this Heart all riches for yourself and for others. Daily Schedule. Dear Friends of Carmel, It will not be possible for us to host the Shower of Roses this year at our Monastery due to the health concerns and restrictions presently in place. Click for more information on how to order copies. This daily domestic duty shared in by all is also used as an opportunity to offer a few prayers for the many intentions recommended to our prayers each day. A Carmelite Nun. Compline or Night Prayer is really the last part of the Divine Office for the day. By Angela Wintle 21 December 2010 • 13:18 … The grace of the Holy Spirit is certainly necessary throughout the day, and it is especially to the Holy Spirit that our prayer at the first “Little Hour” is usually directed. See more ideas about martyrs, compiegne, carmelites. Just as food nourishes the body, good spiritual reading is necessary to nourish the heart, mind, and soul. In 1997, a Carmelite monastery was founded in Siberia, Russia, by Mother Teresa Mary, a former member of the Erie community. Brief though the “Little Hours” be, they are full of depth and meaning.). She has already prepared the Offertory gifts that will be given to our chaplain at this same window during the Mass. AM. She is not only our loving Mother, but also our guide and model in our life of prayer and sacrifice for the Church, for priests, for all souls. By eleven o’clock the last lights from various Sisters’ cells go out. While the above is only a structure, many convents would have had a routine similar to this. Our community meets on the 2nd Saturday of the month at St. Kathryn Parish. Then for the third and last time, we pray the Angelus as the evening hours advance. It takes but a minute to prepare my books; then I go next door to the chapter room, where gradually all the Sisters are gathering. From July 8th 2015 our Mass times are as follows: Sunday – 8.00am Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday – 7.00am Thursday, Friday, Saturday, – 8.00am The nuns, of course, will be in their own part of the Chapel, behind the grille. 42:9) and thanksgiving (…it is good to give thanks to the Lord, to make music to your name, O most high… Our Ordinary Daily Schedule. Sep 11, 2015 - Explore Irish Redcoat's board "Carmelite Martyrs", followed by 261 people on Pinterest. (Supplied: Carmelite Monastery)All in a day's prayer. 5:30 Rise. A typical day in our life: 6:00 AM - Angelus, Office of Readings. 12:30 PM - Mid-Day Prayer, Examination of Conscience. Sponsored by the Institute on Religious Life, Perpetual Adoration Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. While breakfast is taken in silence, at both dinner and supper the Sister appointed for the week reads from the Rule and Constitutions, Scripture, and whatever other spiritual book the Prioress has chosen. This means that they live inside the monastery precincts, rarely venturing into the outside world, so that they can dedicate … Come to prayer, Sisters, come to praise the Lord!”. Normally when we meet one another in the corridor or wherever, the salutation “Praised be Jesus Christ!” is given by one Sister, the other responding, “Now and forever!” However, as it is still the time of the Great Silence, we greet one another simply with a smile and a nod of the head. For those in the novitiate, part of this morning work period is usually spent in classes given by the Novice Mistress, who is in charge of their formation. After Mass: thanksgiving followed by Terce (midmorning prayer). 6:00 A.M. Angelus. Also, in the evening we conclude with a hymn chosen by one of the Sisters. In summer we often eat in the garden which makes even the dullest meal festive. Gratitude is an important virtue for everyone to cultivate; but for us who rely very much on the Providence of God which is often realized in the generosity and kindness shown us by so many good people, it is even more so. After finishing my work in the garden, I go once more to the choir. The daily liturgical life of the Carmelite Family finds its inspiration in Scripture and especially in the Psalms. Time is also set apart each day for study and discussion in novitiate. Working in silence enables one to reflect on many things, to share everything with the One who is always with us. My daily sightings of her came at morning mass, when my grandmother and I would sit on the front pew in the convent chapel, from where we had a perfect vantage-point into the nuns… While Matins, or the Office of Readings, may normally be said at any time of the day, for monastic orders it has been long been the tradition to keep Matins‘ nocturnal character, anticipating the Office of the next day. In general, within monasteries it is made up of ordinary household tasks: Nuns may cook, clean or handle routine monastery repairs. After lunch there is some free time for writing, hobbies or one of those little jobs that is always waiting to be done. People are often curious about the kind of work we do. This may seem an absurd statement; after all, every Carmel in the country has a similar timetable (also called an horarium) and the structure of a typical day can easily be given. 9:30 – 11:15 Manual Labor. Soon she is lighting the candles that are used in our celebration of the Divine Office throughout the day. Following supper, the same lighthearted happiness pervades our evening recreation as it did at noon. Listen to Harp music performed by Catherine Anderson for the Carmelite Nuns. For many Carmelite friars and brothers and sisters reading the Psalms is a way of interiorizing the Prayer of the Divine Office. 12.30 Lunch, which is shared with guests and visitors. For the second time during the day, we pray the Angelus at the beginning of our community recreation. As the clock strikes five-thirty, the domestic bell is rung and the signal given for the intoning of Psalm 51. A variety of projects can be seen tonight, from sewing and mending clothes to embroidery or artwork, and often, too, the never-ending job of peeling potatoes and other vegetables for the next day’s meal. – the Constitutions of the Nuns The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the center of our monastic life. 5:30 Rise (If taking a shower, 5:15). Like dancers, the sisters circle each other, take turns standing in the center to read, rise, and kneel as one. Strict silence after Compline. Yet, in all my years in Carmel — and they are not a few! “With zeal have I been zealous for the Lord God of Hosts,” it reads. The vocation of the Discalced Carmelite Nun is a gift of the Spirit. Very easily does this time of liturgical prayer flow into the hour of mental prayer. (Terce, Sext, and None are the Latin titles given to these “Little Hours” of the Divine Office; they refer to the third, sixth, and ninth hours of the day, mentioned in Scripture as times of prayer. 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