Sunday 6 January 2013

Meetings Resume

Happy New Year to everyone.

We will start meeting again on Thursday, 17th January, the Feast of St Anthony Abbot. I suggest those able to attend might like to come to the 6pm Mass in the Oratory so we can receive Holy Communion together. After that I propose celebrating the Father of Monasticism by booking for the £10.50 pre-theatre menu in Pierre Victoire in Little Clarendon Street. Afterwards I thought I might show the film about the French martyr monks in Algeria after which we can sing Compline together.

Please contact me if you would like to be included in the booking for dinner.

Monday 10 December 2012

Advent Meetings

Monday, 10th December, 2012

We had a healthy number at our first meeting last Thursday, nine people with connections to a number of different monasteries, including Prinknash, Douai and Norcia.

The format seemed to work quite well too, Recreation, Chapter and Commentary, lectio divina, and Sung Compline followed by the Marian Antiphon and a silent departure. I am happy to keep the church open for a while after the end of the prayers in the Lady Chapel for private prayer, so that people can leave when they are ready. The recollected atmosphere produced by the office and prayer to Our Blessed Lady seems too good to waste! Please let me know what you think.

I will try to produce better Compline books in due course, with the Benedictine Confiteor and prayers for Chapter.

We will meet for the next two Thursdays, 13th and 20th, and have a break after that. I suggest we begin meeting again in the New Year on Thursday, 17th January, the Feast of St Anthony, Abbot.

As usual, please watch this space for updates, especially about where we will have recreation.

Fr Richard

Thursday 22 November 2012

First Meeting of Oxford Oblates Group

The new group for Benedictine Oblates in Oxford will have its first meeting on the first Thursday of Advent, 6th December 2012, at 8pm at the Oratory in Woodstock Road.

The form of the meetings will no doubt evolve over time. But in order to include the classical Benedictine elements of hospitality, lectio divina (spiritual reading), and liturgical prayer I would like start by proposing the following structure or horarium.

Recreation at 8pm: We will meet in the Guild Room at the Oratory for refreshments - or possibly elsewhere if the Guild Room is booked. This will be an occasion for recreation together and for welcoming our visitors.

Chapter at 8.30pm: We will go into the church for a reading from the Rule of St Benedict followed by a short commentary on the Rule, especially as it can be applied to those living as Benedictine Oblates in the world. This will be followed by lectio divina for about twenty-five minutes. People should bring their own reading material.

Compline at 9pm: We will go to the Sacred Heart Chapel to sing the Office of Compline together. I propose singing the Benedictine Office in Latin with the single Confiteor as used outside of Choir. This may be a bit difficult at first, but it will be worth persevering! At the end we will go to the Lady Chapel to sing the antiphon to Our Blessed Lady.

Most of our groups have the "social time" at the end, but it seems best to have a Benedictine Oblates' recreation at the beginning of the evening so that we can go home after Compline in our own "Great Silence" and maintain a spirit of recollection and prayer.

In the future I hope we may be able to supplement this basic structure with Oblates' Masses, talks about Benedictine History and Spirituality and, in the summer months, visits to places of monastic interest.

I have prepared Compline Books for use by the group, so there is no need to bring an Antiphonale unless you would like to.

There will be breaks in this routine for holiday times, Holy Days and different liturgical seasons. Please check this blog regularly for details of changes to the usual timetable and for extra activities and events. I will also add links, over time, to other sites of Benedictine interest or with resources for prayer and study,

If you would like to be added to the electronic mailing list please send me an email:

Fr Richard Duffield C.O.