Gatherings are the central place of community within Urban Monastics. We gather together regularly to pray the Liturgy of the Hours, partake in the Eucharist, and participate in a conversation together. It is an encouraging time, focused on worship and community. Join us!
Our next Gathering
Sunday, November 7
What to Expect
Praying the Liturgy of the Hours
The hour starts off with a quick welcome and moves right into praying vespers together, a liturgical-style prayer, in plain chant. If you are unfamiliar with plain chant, no problem, we’ll explain it. It’s easy to catch on, and if we meet virtually, you can mute yourself anyway!
Why pray a liturgy?
It is a long held tradition to pray liturgical prayers in monastic communities. These prayers are different from the personal, specifically-focused, petition or praise style prayers that many are taught. Liturgical prayers use a set of scripture and other revered texts to pray God’s word back to him. It is a communal prayer, presented to God on behalf of the Church as a whole. Some people are drawn to liturgical prayers for what they embody, others are drawn to them as a way to empty ourselves and pray to God and praise Him without expecting anything in return. Whatever the reason, we know God is blessed by any and all prayers we offer to Him.
Why do we chant?
Chanting prayers is an ancient practice that Monastics have been participating in for a long time. Often times when you visit a monastery you’ll hear a chant that is a step beyond the plain chant, with more melodic tones throughout and possibly accompanying music. We choose to plain chant for its simplicity and accessibility. Chanting is a way to more intentionally focus on the prayer we’re lifting to God, the words we sing on behalf of the Church. After all, it was Augustine who said “those who sing, pray twice” emphasising another dimension of praise we offer to God.
When we finish praying vespers together, we move into a time of Communion. If done virtually, we ask that you come prepared with the elements at the beginning of the hour. One of us will lead us into a time of Communion, joining in it together with those present.
After Communion we spend time in Conversation. A topic is presented, relating to an important part of monastic life, or at times more specifically a topic related to one of the points of our Commitment. The conversation is introduced with some common ground laid, and then the time is opened up for conversation, generally with a few guiding questions to consider. You can participate as much or as little as you’d like, we just ask that you be respectful and honouring to those also participating.
That concludes the Gathering! We would love for you to join us in this regular time of meeting together, as often as you’re able. We simply ask that when you join, you come with:
- a prayerful posture toward God
- an openness to, and respect for the others in the Gathering
- Communion elements ready to be partaken
Join us for our next Gathering!